Sunday, April 5, 2009

Relaxing at Bitez Beach

On Saturday, we decided to have a relaxing day prior to our big hike on Sunday. We went from Oya's house in the Bitez hills down to Bitez Beach where her mother lives. We had another great breakfast and ate a lot of what they call 'zeytin yagli' dishes for lunch. These are cold dishes made with olive (zeytin) oil (yag - silent g). Among these were leeks with rice and carrots sprinkled with lemon (my favorite), stuffed eggplant with rice, currants, and exotic spices, flat green beans with tomato, onions, and garlic, and dolma (stuffed grape leave with rice and exotic spices). All were so good...and as usual, I ate way too much. Between being entertained by Oya's mother (who is very interesting, funny, and artistic...she paints, writes poems, sings, etc) and the neighborhood cats (not many Turks are as fond of animals as they are in the US...many strays everywhere and Oya's family are big animal lovers)....we took a leisurely stroll along the entire Bitez Bay...from the beach house to the marina and back. This area is one of the most popular beaches on the Bodrum Penninsula in the summer. There are many really neat boutique hotels and restaurants along the walkway in front of the shore. Oya says in the summer, the entire area is full of people. Now, there are none...which is kinda nice. But the water was COLD! Swim suit goes back into suitcase.

In the late afternoon, we went to Myndos Gate. This western city gate was built by Mausolus in 364 B.C. and was the scene for one of the greatest bloodiest battles during the siege of Alexander the Great. The site is currently under restoration, but unlike in the states, you can still walk around and take a looksy....and even walk up into the tower on the right!

Below is the back side of the tower...and a washed out picture looking into the sun...Oya after we climbed up.

There are several ancient graves near the gate, of which this double grave has an intricate mosiac in front of it.

In the evening, we came back to Oya's mom's house....ate MORE food...drank tea...and headed back to the house to prepare our packs for the hike.

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