Farewell to Rhodes and Back to Istanbul

by Linda Capeloto Sendowski on May 3, 2010

Turkey Trip 445

Wednesday April 21st

The day dawned clear and bright with black threatening clouds across the Aegean over the mountainous coast of Turkey.  After repacking again, we headed up to the 10th floor for breakfast with a view.

The fresh whole wheat baguette and butter with orange preserves and a couple of soft boiled eggs were very satisfying.  Down in the lobby we met our childhood friend and neighbor Denise.  What happened to us?  No longer little skinny Sephardic girls we are now all middle aged women with children from 20-32 years of age.  Denise fell in love on her after high school travel adventure and married her true love in fairy tale fashion.  Moving to Rhodes for a happy ever after, she has no regrets.

We hugged, kissed, laughed, traded pictures, and drank frappes in a local coffee shop until Denise had to leave us to pick up here grandson.  She dropped us off at the Marina gate of the Old City, so reminiscent of Jerusalem.

Time to shop.  Barbie and I shopped and stopped for a leisurely lunch since there would probably be no chance for dinner later.  We ate lunch at Plaka’s on the second floor balcony overlooking the main square with our super friendly waitress.  She made us the best coffee frappes again.

After lunch, we walked to the Mandrake taxi stand and took a taxi back to the hotel.  We paid the driver to wait until we retrieved our luggage and loaded up the car.  The catamaran back to Turkey was scheduled to leave at 4:30 and we would have to do security and passport control again.

We got to the dock and checked in.  We made it through passport control with minimal fuss and boarded the twin hulled commuter catamaran for the one hour trip.  Dragging our own luggage, which had now grown to 6 pieces, was a little difficult, thank god for wheels.

Docking in Turkey the black rain clouds had rolled in, but our favorite smiling porter was waiting for us, looking at our stack of luggage with amusement.  Don’t forget we still have suitcases in the hotel in Istanbul.  One more time through security and the hotel concierge as well as a driver, Yusef and a car were waiting for us in the parking lot.

One quick stop at the hotel and it was time to leave for the Dalaman Airport near Bodrum, famous for textiles, about one hour away by car.  Our driver blasted up the pop dance music and made some cute jokes.  His companion from the hotel told us women drivers in Turkey are harassed a little so many women don’t bother.

We passed through Pamukkale, home to Cleopatra’s hot spring pools where thermal waters run over columns of ancient ruins.  It is a famous Hamam-spa.  Pamukkale is also famous for the sweet juicy oranges (portukale), which come from the surrounding orange groves.  Yusef stopped at a roadside stand to buy us some, still open at 8 at night.

We arrived at the Dalaman airport domestic terminal and bid farewell to our Yusef.  In Turkey they have the right idea, there is security before you can enter the terminal and then security again before you can enter the gate of your flight.  Now we will do security and ex ray for the third time today.  I was happy that I ate such a big bowl of pasta with vegetables for lunch and a baguette dipped in wonderful Rhodian olive oil, since there is no time to eat more than a banana before our 9:35 flight to Istanbul.  The airport is spotless and the very smartly dressed Turkish Airline crew hospitable and attractive.

Only a couple more hours until a shower and a nice clean bed to sink into.

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