Bodrum is a pretty resort and yachting port situated on a peninsula facing south from the Turkish mainland to the Aegean sea. Formerly named Halicarnassus, Bodrum has 3,000 plus years of civilization. It's been the site of one of the Seven wonders of the Ancient World and was the seat of Kings & Queens. Today, it has its own unique charm with gleaming whitewashed buildings clinging to the hillsides and along very narrow little streets.
Undoubtedly, the pride of Bodrum is the Castle of St. Peter dating to 1437 and built by the Knights of St. John partly with materials from the ruins of the Mausoleum. Five towers are dedicated to the homelands of the Knights: England, France, Germany, Italy & Spain (also known as the snake tower). The castle houses the Museum of Underwater Archeology and houses a 7th century shipwreck. Other exhibits and artifacts dating to the Bronze Age can be seen. The Carian Princess Hall houses the purported remains of Princess Ada, the sister of King Mausolos. Photography was prohibited here.
The Mausoleum, one of those wonders of the Ancient World, is now nothing more than ruins, with some of its blocks recycled to build the Castle of St. Peter. This was the massive tomb built for King Mausolos of the Persian Empire, ordered up by Queen Artemisia, his wife. It was an extravagant white marble affair with a solid rectangular base topped by 36 columns and a pyramid and crowned with a massive statue of the King riding a chariot. In its day it was an amazing structure.
Our next stop took us to the top of the mountain to the outdoor amphitheater overlooking Bodrum. It is said to have a capacity of over ten thousand and was constructed under the direction of King Mausolos. Excavated and restored in the 1970s, it now serves as an open air museum.
Our last sightseeing stop brought us to the Myndos Gate. The gate was part of the defensive walls that guarded the ancient city of Halicarnassus.. It was from these walls that the citizens put up a heroic battle against Alexander the Great in the early 300's BC. However, the gate is significant in that it is believed this is where Alexander penetrated the city. There is not much to see here since it's only been excavated recently but the two ends of the gate have many original blocks.
And, finally, the obligatory shopping stop. In Turkey usually, carpet making demonstrations are the order of the day; but today we had a nice diversion to a leather factory/shop where we were treated to snacks, a cold drink, and a fashion show featuring leather coats and jackets. The showroom was open for sales but leather jackets aren't very conducive to our lifestyle so we passed.
The food on board has been superb and tonight's menu didn't disappoint either. The after-dinner show featured the ship's singers and dancers in a show themed from the Swing Era. They were quite good.