We decided on a short overnighter to Marmaris as a break from our Hollywood nights. The drive was most enjoyable as the shrubby scrub and Cadbury’s crunchie-coloured rock typical of the Bodrum Peninsula gave way to dense, fragrant pine-forested hills. We stopped off for sustenance in Akyaka, a pleasant little resort purpose built in pretty, low-rise, faux Ottoman style situated at the far end of the Gulf of Gökova.
Over lunch, I romantically reminisced about my first visit to the town on my first visit to Turkey, lodging in a modest whitewashed villa adjacent to the tiny hamlet of Taşbükü on the Datça Peninsula about a 30 minute drive from Marmaris. We wallowed in rapture for two weeks, bathed in the gulf of shimmering turquoise, breakfasted in the tumble-down amphitheatre on Cleopatra’s Island (Sedir Island) and star gazed on cheap plonk. I was gently seduced and thus started an unlikely chain of events leading me to the here and now.
Back on the road, we dropped into Marmaris by mid-afternoon. Despite ruinous, rampant overdevelopment, Marmaris retains some charm due to the splendid position of the castled old town at the foot of a steep-walled, almost fully enclosing wooded bay. The town must have once been magical before the advent of mass tourism and the single-minded pursuit of hard currency. We sank a few Efes by the water’s edge, slept in a modest inn with lokanta attached and returned home early the next morning. The journey was more satisfying than the destination, and we were glad of the validation that we had chosen our home in Bodrum well.