Gumbet Travel Blog

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After all the debacle of our original plans going bust we were really just happy to be out of Edinburgh, so it wasn’t till we had the tickets safe in our hands and we were lined up with throngs of other holiday makers at Glasgow airport did it hit us that after a year of travelling to random places around Europe we were finally having the elusive ‘holiday’. As you know our trips usually involve us running around to lots of sights in the rain and cold as well as getting lost infinite times, and coming home tired but a little bit more culturally educated, so we were definitely looking forward to a week in the sun.

The flight got us into Bodrum airport at 1pm, so by now we were starving, but more than that excited to find out where we would be staying, we flew through check-out and found the GoldTrail representatives outside the airport who put us on the bus to the Litera Gumbet Beach Resort, we were really excited by this news because this was one of the better hotels we could have been sent to. It didn’t take long to get there, and we managed to score a room with a balcony, but more than that we were taken by the amazing view from the hotel reception. The porter came to get us and happily threw or 20kg suitcase over his shoulder and ran down the stair to our block and up 4 floors to our room ��" needless to say I was very impressed. We didn’t have change and were glad we didn’t have to struggle with the suitcase so gave him a 5YTL note (about £2), first he asked us if we wanted change, and when we said no he proceeded to show us all the features of the room (this is a light switch, this is your bathroom, here is the door to your balcony…it was very strange) so we decided it must have been a pretty good trip (actually we never did see that guy again so maybe he scored a week off from the fiver!).

We did a quick change and raced back up to the pool where they were serving the afternoon ‘snack’, of a burger and chips. The meals at the hotel were fantastic so it was surprising how many people were lined up day after day for the chips served after lunch. In the evening we went exploring the hotel which had a private beach from which you could do water sports and hire canoes. I loved the beach, but it was a shingle beach (not soft sand) so Cam preferred the pool. The beach also had a snack bar so you would never miss out on your burger. One level up from the beach there was a small bar and pool that over look the water, and above this another bar which has a disco every night. There was also the pool and the pool bar. From every level of the hotel you got amazing views across the bay and from our room you could see all the way into Gumbet town. The dining hall half on a balcony and in a large room, where there was a buffet and a barbeque. There was also a shop open 24 hours which was really cheap for bottled water and lucky because we forgot the toothpaste. One night we stopped in to pick up some post cards and stamps, and had a different kind of cultural experience with the young shop keeper, who wasn’t very sure what a stamp was and if he had any so cam ended up talking to the shop manager on the phone (very bizarre) and then we had the interesting challenge of explaining to the poor guy that wee needed some money back. If only was spoke a little bit of Turkish.

The range of food phenomenal there were salads galore and warm Turkish dishes for dinner as well as chicken or shish kebab on the BBQ, don’t even get me started on the deserts there were loads of Turkish style cakes even Cam had to indulge a little bit. At breakfast we got something hot like omelette, fried eggs or my favourite pancakes as well as lots of fresh fruit, cereals, yogurt and a full cooked breakfast as well. As a said well impressed by the food! We basically were fed all day, breakfast from 8-10, lunch from 1-2.30, snack bar from 3-5, afternoon tea (Turkish biscuits and breads) from 5-6 and then dinner from 8-9.30, so no one could possibly go hungry in this place.

From the front of the hotel we could catch a mini bus (local and a bit scary) to Gumbet or Bodrum for 2YTL. It was also only a short walk to Bitez beach which hosts the next resort area.

On the Tuesday we thought we would brave the heat and make our way into Bodrum to go market shopping. Bodrum, known in ancient times as Halicarnassus, was the birthplace of Heredotus and the site of King Mausolus' Tomb, the Mausoleum (4th century B.C.), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is a Turkish port town in Muğla Province, in the southwestern Aegean Region of the country. It is located on the southern coast of Bodrum Peninsula, at a point that checks the entry into the Gulf of Gökova, and it faces the Greek island of Kos.

Right at the bus station there is a large undercover market hosting a huge range of rip-off designer bags and purses, and lots of Turkish delights. The markets were a bit of a surreal experience you could really pick anything up for fear of the sellers harassing you for it, the Turkish vendors yelling ‘4 for a tenner’ and ‘cheaper than Primark’ which was pretty funny too. Cam was in his element haggling for deals, which worked out well for me, at one wallet place the man told us the wallets were £25 each and we walked away with 2 for 25YTL! Unfortunately we couldn’t muster the same deal for a hand-bag. But the deals didn’t end there; we bought loads of Turkish delight, but also managed to get free samples.

From the markets we took a walk through town to find the marina and the castle. In the harbour, the Bodrum Castle, or the medieval castle of St. Peter, is a fine example of 15th-century crusader architecture, and has been converted into the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, with remains dating as far back as the Bronze Age. We took the tour through the castle from which you get fantastic views of the harbour, bay and town; we stopped for a drink in the court yard before heading back to the markets. It wasn’t long before the heat was getting too much for us and we jumped on the bus back to the resort.

Our first experience of Gumbet was at a pub crawl with the tour company, we met as an Aussie themed bar (funnily enough) called Outback, from which we went on to do some karaoke, where Cam stole the show with his rendition of Paradise City, I am still to make my karaoke debut, and we moved on before I plucked up the courage, and then on for some dancing. When we left the club in search of water and some food, we realised all the shops were still open at midnight so we indulged a little but, but more for the novelty than the desire to shop. On the way back to the bus we stopped and picked up a real Turkish kebab, which tasted amazing and didn’t make us feel sick! We caught the bus back to bodrum to do a proper check of the shops a few days later, but only came away with more Turkish delights, but we did find that it was actually only a half hour walk back to our resort from the town centre (though you probably wouldn’t want to try it at midday!)
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photo by: alpgalip