You already know what I think about about Bodrum. I thought I'd ask Jane why she travels up to Bodrum on a regular basis, given that her home town, Marmaris, is also a picturesque port and holiday resort on the Turkish Riviera.
Bodrum has always had a touch of the exotic about it for me; from the distinctive sugar-cube buildings and being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to the fact that in 1987 I used to travel from Marmaris for the delights of its Chinese Restaurant (still there on the seafront). On first going to the Halikarnas Disco I realised it was better than any club I'd ever been to in London and its location on the seashore was second to none.
Nowadays I make the journey by bus for the shopping ... and the cafe-life. Bodrum has several shopping centres with international brand names as well as a main high street lined with shops and the myriad streets around the castle that are home to many delectable independent stores. It was the opening of the tiny M&S just across the road from what was Karada Marina (now Bodrum Marina) that first got me hooked on the idea of specifically visiting Bodrum for shopping. I used to work in the branch of M&S in Oxford Street known as The Pantheon Store and I wondered at the difference between the stores, with the Bodrum one being in such a gorgeous location.
No shopping trip is complete without lunch somewhere special and there are many delightful places to choose from. One of my favourites is Gözen cafe right by the sea in Bar Street (it's mostly run by women and has a great range of imported beers including my favourite Guinness) and if my husband Recep accompanies me (he loves shopping even more than I do) then we stay at the charming Gözen Butik hotel next door (wonderfully managed by Ayşe Hanım); we've spent the last four Christmases doing exactly this.
I try to make the journey at least once a month; I don't care if I don't buy anything but I love to browse. The staff in M&S in Oasis Centre greet me like an old friend, in fact for a long time they thought I lived in Bodrum and went on holiday to Marmaris! And what's missing from Bodrum? Oh for a John Lewis ... that would be shopping perfection.