I spent my last few days in Turkey along the southern coastal area called Bodrum near the Greek isles. My first night out I was completely shocked, I felt more like I was in Cancun during spring break rather than Turkey, especially the Turkey I had been exposed to so far. I went to an area called bar street, appropriately named I suppose as it is a street lined with bars and clubs with the staff stalking passers by offering free alcoholic shots or cocktails in exchange for patronage. The culture of the country was definitely lost in this place, but I suppose there is a time and place for everything, so I enjoyed the night with new friends and went back to the hotel in the wee hours of the morning. Something I have become far too accustomed to. The next day a friend and I (who was working at the hotel bar but also on her last days in the country) toured around a bit and went to a place called camel beach. Yes, a beach with camels, I have found that places aren’t too creatively named around these parts.
After a second night on bar street, watching the youth of Europe dance and drink their lives away on stages and dance floors, baptizing anyone nearby in their sweat, I realized I might be getting too old for this. So the next day and a little more my speed, five of us took one of the boat trips together, along the coast making a few stops at bays and beaches. This was a lovely day, the waters were clear and refreshing painted in multiple shades of blue. We spent the day soaking up the sun, people watching and jumping off the boat at each of the stops, one of which was camel beach where we had been the day before. As always it was cute to hear one of the workers there who had remembered me, call me by name, I always find that so charming (or maybe I’m just vain who knows!) By the time we got back to the hotel that night we were completely drained so it was an early night sans bar street. The next day as the newly formed group was breaking apart, we did the usual exchange of info and hopes of catching up in the future on the road, hugs and goodbyes. I then headed to the port to board a ferry to Cos/Kos.
It took a bit over half an hour to get to the Greek island of Kos or Cos. Quite often you find multiple spellings of places in Greece due to the fact that they use a different alphabet so when translated to English (Latin alphabet) different letters can be used as long as it’s phonetically the same. Here I spent one night only as it was just a stopover before heading to another Island for my first couch surfing experience. However, I found Kos to be a cute little place where I would have been happy to spend more time. I had made no accommodation reservations for Kos as I decided with much encouragement to just go and find it once I got there. I was told there would be many people at the port looking for guests. I got a bit nervous when I arrived at first and saw no such people with their usual signs advertising places. After walking a bit though towards the city an old lady approached me about rooms, following a short price haggle I jumped on her husband’s little scooter and headed to their home, where they rented rooms on the second and third floors.
The moment I had arrived back in Greece and was riding on the back of that little scooter, a feeling of happiness and relief came over me. There is just something about being in Greece that makes you feel great something indescribable that I had missed in Turkey. I was lead to my small but sufficient and clean room, where I napped for about two hours before deciding to take a stroll later in the evening. On my stroll I stopped at a small café for a milkshake, and got into a conversation with one of the sons of the owner who then offered to be my guide through the town’s social scene later that night. Our first stop was a fantastic lounge that his friend owned and instantly the drinks began to pour! Indeed I was back in Greece.