Exploring the Ancient City of Halicarnassus, and Meeting an Adorable Tortoise

Exploring the Ancient City of Halicarnassus, and Meeting an Adorable Tortoise

Before there was Bodrum, there was Halicarnassus. This ancient Greek city was famous around the world for it’s architecture and scenery. Today, Rob and I walked a trail uncovering the hidden remnants of Halicarnassus in Bodrum.  

First stop, the Bodrum Ampitheater. Built in the 4th century, it seated as many as 10,000 in the audience. The amphitheater is in great condition today, but is unfortunately located next to the noisy highway through town. I would have thrown a great Mountain Play picnic there in ancient times.
Rob and I wound our way through the old neighborhoods. Bodrum is a funny place where you’re likely to have Beyonce as a neighbor on one side and a chicken on the other. I love the old stone houses surrounded by fruit trees.

The whitewash and blue alleys are also very pretty.

But there’s something about the gardens here that I adore. Wouldn’t you like to have a couple dolmas in this courtyard?

Anyway, back to the sights. Our next stop was the ruins of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. This massive structure was one of the original Seven Wonders of the World before earthquakes and political shifts reduced it to rubble.

After a quick lunch break for spinach and cheese pastries at a bakery, Rob and I stumbled across the ancient Ottoman shipyard and mariners cemetery. It’s still an active shipyard below, but on the hill an incredibly lush field of wildflowers among the grave markers.

I can’t get over these red poppies. Between the poppies and the roses, the red flowers in Bodrum are almost too much!

Rob and I were exploring some of the tombstones when we discovered…

…THIS GUY!  Isn’t he the most handsome wild tortoise you’ve ever seen? I just love the book My Family and Other Animals and was having a full-on Gerry meltdown about finding a tortoise.

Back home in the afternoon to work. I was just finishing a conference call with a client in San Francisco when the power went out in our neighborhood for 30 minutes. With the moon rising over our neighbors, it was quite a pretty sight.

The power came back on in time for me to make Manti (Turkish ravioli) for dinner.

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Katie at 1:55 pm

    Yes, I'd love to have dolmas in that yard. Why does everything manage to look so cheery there? Those poppy fields are amazing. This is fun traveling vicariously through you guys!

  2. mrsem Author at 1:58 pm

    It is SO cheery here. I have a feeling Bodrum in the middle of summer is a boiling hellscape of tourists, but in March it is divine.

  3. Roving Jay - Expat in Motion at 6:26 pm

    Emily … you have a fabulous eye! These poppy pictures are amazing…. really eye-catching … it would be fabulous to be able to feature them on my website … would you allow me to post them there? I'd give you credit, and provide a link back to you blog from my Bodrum Travel Website.

    Can you let me know if that's ok with you… [email protected]… thanks, Jay

  4. Smitty at 6:26 pm

    They say poppies grow wherever a soldier has died. Okay, not a pretty image, but it's a striking testament to the history of an area. Crete is another place that is full of poppies– and invasions, battles and sacrifice. I find it very moving to see those fields of red decades and even centuries later.