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The Road to Bodrum

September 29, 2008

The journey to our hotel – by which I mean the 250 kilometres from Izmir Airport to the Kempinski Hotel just outside of Bodrum – is a demanding one best tackled in daylight.

In our eagerness to get cracking with our fourteen days of sun and relaxation we opted to drive at night.

The journey took three hours and was quite a scary experience.

Should you be considering making the same journey you may way wish to take into consideration the many hazards facing the car driver and his or her passenger in eastern Turkey.

1. Motorways are signed in green, not blue.

2. There are vast stretches of road described as being dual carriageway which push the definition a little far.

3. On some parts of that dual carriageway there isn’t a definite sense of exactly where the road ends and the pavement begins. This perhaps explains why some other road users make arbitrary decisions when selecting places to stop and park up.

4. Some pedestrians have similar difficulty determining where the pavement ends and the roads begin, in addition to not understanding the safety advantages inherent in using a zebra crossing.

5. Dog owners in the region seem to adopt a laissez-faire attitude to looking after their pets, letting them roam free – often in the road.

6. Most roads are not lit.

7. Most roads have little or no road markings.

8. Where there are road markings , local drivers tend to take a cavalier approach to lane discipline thus making overtaking a risky business.

9. Contraflows tend not to be signposted. Reduced lane provision is uaully indicated by use of an apologetically positioned series of oil drums (with reflective stripes, if you’re lucky) every 50 metres or so. This assuming the oil drums haven’t already been knocked out of the way by a nervous tourist driving a hire car.

10. Strangely, no driver should ever be worried about running out of petrol. With a petrol station on both sides of the road nearly every five minutes drivers can be confident of only having to walk a maximum of five minutes in the worst case scenario and be guaranteed a competitive price when they fill up.

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