Car rental, ruins, New Year's Eve

Bodrum Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 19 › view all entries
Becin Castle

We rented a car in Bodrum from a local agency that charged 22 euro -- all the other ones like Avis, Enterprise, Europecar charged twice as much! The rate also included full collision and liability insurance, and the rental shop dropped the car off right at our hotel.

First we drove to Becin Castle, a Byzantine era castle set on top of a rocky hill. The walls were really well preserved and there were spectacular views of the surrounding valleys. There was an entrance fee but no one at the ticket booth, so we just went in and explored the ruins on our own.

Next we drove to Labranda, where there were the ruins of a 2000 year old city set high up on the hill side.

Becin Castle
Normally there is an entrance fee here as well, but again there was no one at the ticket booth, so we got in for free. Again, there was no one else at the ruins, so we got to explore them for ourselves.

From there we went to Euromos, where there was a temple of Zeus.

As a side note here I should say that I didn't think going to ruins would be the most exciting thing to do -- but they were actually quite fun to explore. Most of the ruins are remarkably well preserved. And all of them were completely deserted and free to enter (since no one appears to man the ticket booths during the off-season). We probably saved over $80 total among the three of us by not having to pay entrance fees. A lot of the ruins are quite stunning, and even the lesser known ones in Turkey seem like they could be a huge tourist attraction in any other country.

Becin Castle

--------------

At night we went out to the waterfront area in Bodrum. During the summer, the Bodrum beachfront is packed with beach and party-goers. Yesterday night, there were maybe about 3 people total there, so our expectations for NYE were low. We arrived at the marina for dinner around 9PM and initial signs were good as there were lots of Turkish familes out in the restaurants. I ordered a steak which was listed on a menu for 12 lira. When we got the check, the bill had it listed as 20 lira. Phil and Dave also had the prices of their dishes bumped up. We complained to the waiter who showed us a different menu with the bumped up prices. So they showed us one set of prices from one set of menus, then charged us higher prices from a different menu. We were all really angry and went downstairs to complain to the manager.

Becin Castle
After a lot of yelling and arguing back and forth we were able to pay the original prices.

Service at the restaurant was also incredibly poor. During dinner the waiters handed out tamborines and New Year's party hats to all of the tables except ours. They also ignored us for most of the meal. What's funny is that we were going to tip 20% anyway, but since they tried overcharging us by 20%, they got nothing.

After dinner we wandered around the waterfront looking for a bar to relax in. In contrast to the night before, many of the bars were full. In fact, most places wouldn't even let us in because we didn't have any girls with us (and also, I think, because we were foreigners). We were probably among the only foreigners along that street that night, which might have been cool if people had been friendly.

Becin fort

We found a random place that let us in and I ordered 3 beers. I asked the bartender for the bill and a few minutes later a random waiter handed me a piece of paper with "60 lira" written on it. So after the restaurant tried to rip us off at dinner, this bar was trying to charge us $40 for 3 beers, where previously we had been able to get beers for as low as 2 lira. It was a total scam. I refused to pay and the bartender started yelling at me. I said I'd give him 20 lira at the most. He took the 20 lira note out of my hand and then started physically pushing Phil out of the bar. We said we were going to contact the police and he laughed and told us to try.

We found two policemen only a few meters away and started talking to them. They didn't seem to keen to help us, and said we would have to go down to the police station to file a report, and that it would take 4 hours.

Becin fort
We kept complaining. After 10 minutes or so, when it became clear to the police officer that we weren't going to leave him alone, he went to the bar with us. He brought the manager to the street outside the bar and they yelled in Turkish back and forth to each other for a few minutes. We had no idea what was going on. Finally the manager said he would give us our 20 lira back (he shoved us out of the bar before we could even start our drinks). Then he had the audacity to try to put his arm around my shoulder like we were best friends again, but I quickly shoved his arm off and gave him the "evil eye".

It was around midnight at this time, but since two different establishments along the waterfront had tried to grossly rip us off because we were foreigners, we weren't really in the mood to celebrate anymore, and went back to call it a night.

Becin fort
New Year's Eve looks fun in Bodrum, but only if you are Turkish...

---

As a side note, when we were driving around earlier in the day, everyone was incredibly friendly. In one town, we stopped to ask an old man for directions and he got into our car to help direct us to what we were looking for. After we arrived he just got out and presumably just walked back to where he had been standing (it didnt seem like he needed a ride). Another guy we asked for directions got in his car and said we could just follow him. It was just really odd to see such extremes of kindness and mean-ness in one day.

clamdigger53 says:
Thanks for the warning,Turkey looks great to this old history buff though!
Posted on: Mar 07, 2013
Petra2111 says:
I'm sorry you had such a bad night! But the photo's are lovely!
Posted on: Mar 13, 2009
lauro says:
eric! when will you be in the philippines?!!!! beers are only a dollar at its highest price! arrrghhhh


and i am sorry :(( i guess we were not lucky with our end of the year travels as we both had this unfortunate run-ins.
Posted on: Feb 01, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Becin Castle
Becin Castle
Becin Castle
Becin Castle
Becin Castle
Becin Castle
Becin Castle
Becin Castle
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Becin fort
Mausoleum
Mausoleum
Mausoleum
Mausoleum
Mausoleum columns
Mausoleum columns
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Labranda ruins
Euromos
Euromos
Euromas
Euromas
Euromas
Euromas
Euromas
Euromas
Star and moon -- almost like the T…
Star and moon -- almost like the …
Bodrum
photo by: wanderingluster