Turkey Day 12 - Bodrum - Mausoleum wonder of the ancient world & Castle of St Peter

Robin of course pushing Luke in the castle.

As there is only a single day in Bodrum it was a full on day. Breakfast was a bit peculiar as it was served for us. So initially we were sitting there wondering what was going on but then suddenly and slowly food began to arrive including these wonderful poached eggs – so different and yummy compared to our normal fare and service.

Heading out we all walked down to the castle of St John. On the way we had to walk down that crazy street like the previous night which is so narrow at about a foot of space for pedestrians and only a painted yellow line – quite scary.

Narrow street with speeding cars.

Grandma found a number of hair salons and booked appointments at each oneby adding an hour until she found one she liked – so three different appointments at 2pm, 3pm & 4pm – with 4pm being a winner. And of course 2 saloons missed out when she didn't turn up. 

Also passing a number of souvenir shops on the way at good prices so a bit of shopping was done as well.

The Castle of St Peter was built by the knights of St John (the precursor to the modern St Johns Ambulance Service we have today). It has been a number of years since I have been in a medieval castle, Grandma never been in a castle and Robin being a 5 year old boy was really excited – so it was a fun time.

Robin in the castle

Grandma in the castle.

Bodrum has a long naval history and a number of ships have being wreaked in the area so the castle is actually also a museum of underwater archaeology. So I got to experience a wide range of early naval history in person which was great. I was very keen to see the bronze age boat, but it turns out that it is the contents of a bronze age boat and not the actual boat like in Dover which was a crying shame.

Grandma and the replica bronze age boat and contents.

Robin and the replica bronze age contents on the sea bed as found.

Cylinder seals – dating from 1750BC that were on the boat – I always find the patterns on these tiny seals fascinating.

Tin flask, pure tin items are very rare, there are only 7 tins objects known from the bronze age and 3 are from this boat!.

Also this amazing ram’s head – great detail considering it is 3000 years old and made before iron had been invented.

There was lots of bronze making raw materials on board including 10 tons of copper ingots of different shapes plus tin and copper ingots and interestingly over 150 glass ingots.

Glass ingots, the earliest intact glass ingots ever found.

3000 year old gold items found on the boat.

But there was a 1000 year old iron age boat which blew my mind and was really cool to see in the flesh. I got to get in close and try and work out how it was built – it was quite large as well.  

1000 year old iron age boat.

Recycling – I was impressed to see lots of 1000 year old glass cullet’s, being transported for recycling!

I got to explore the castle which was fun, it was larger than the standard castle I have seen in the UK with 7 different levels.

Ahh, a gothic vaulted ceiling, been a while since I have seen one of these.

If you see images of Greek ships they have an eye at the front, well it turns out these are not painted on but are real objects, here is the only real early ship eye – very cool. I was quite excited seeing this. Of course the colour has long since gone. 

Amazing glass beads from the 15 to 18th century BC, that is 3500 year old glass beads.

Real old chain mail, choice bro.

A good view of Bodrum from the castle.

Grandma, Julianne and Luke left after lunch for a rest back at the room (translation more shopping) while Robin and I explored the rest of the castle.

I got back to the hotel around 2-30 for a couple of minutes of rest and just after Julianne & Grandma it turned out - so quite a bit of shopping. After a brief rest Robin, Luke and myself headed out to see the Mausoleum – the site one of the ancient wonders of the world.

The Mausoleum was a huge tomb built around 360BC and lasted reasonably intact through different reigns of Greeks, Romans, Barbarians, Persians and so on but was completely pulled to pieces by the knights of St John to repair the castle of St Peter which they then promptly surrendered to the Ottoman’s what a damn waste and shame!

The knights documented how they pulled the centre tomb to pieces. There is not a lot left now-days but it was interesting to walk around one of the Wonders of the Ancient World, this is the second I have been to – the first being the statue of Zeus in Olympia. It was fun-getting Luke in the pram in and out of the ruins as well.

All that is left of the Mausoleum, one of the wonders of the ancient world.

What the Mausoleum would have looked like.

Robin at the Mausoleum.

And always Robin doing all the pram pushing.

It was then a short walk back to the hotel to wait for Grandma and Julianne to return from the hair salon.

Tea that night was modern pizza, after eating all this glorious Turkish food something simple and similar to a meal from home was on the cards. 

Adam Weller