Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bodrum Finale: "The Wedding"

Dear readers,

If you have been following my posts re: Bodrum, you know the whole purpose of my recent trip to Bodrum was to attend the wedding of my good friend Zeyno Gürses to Batu Dölay - a wonderful guy! They make such a great couple and I am soooo happy that they found each other! Zeyno will continue to use her maiden name and is now Zeyno Gürses Dölay (this has become more and more common in Turkey - especially among women in the work force)

As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I arrived in Bodrum a few days before the wedding - on Thursday (the wedding was on Saturday, September 10). We had a fun filled bacherolette party on Thursday night (see earlier post) and then I had a action packed day on Friday running around the Bodrum peninsula (see earlier post). I decided that I would take it easy the day of the wedding, so that I had enough energy for the evening festivities!

So... I hung out at the pool at my hotel all day and prepared my first post on Bodrum - before heading out for a "late" lunch before going to the hairdresser.

The wedding was going to start at 7:00pm with cocktails, but Zeyno asked me to arrive earlier - around 6:00pm to join the wedding party's pre-wedding preparations.

I don't know about you - but I am really bad at making sure I eat at weddings, cocktail parties and all sorts of other events. I am tooooo busy enjoying myself to get something to eat (unless a waiter walks around with canapes) and that spells TROUBLE with capital letters - as I love my wine!

So... that is why I decided to eat before going to the hairdresser and went to Liman Köftecisi, right on Neyzen Tevfik Street (a few blocks from my hotel) and around the corner from the hairdresser.

I decided I needed "meat" or protein to keep my energy up and besides.. I mentioned this place in an earlier post and I just HAD to have the "Liman Köfte" special before leaving Bodrum!

Liman Köfte "special"
Köfte is the Turkish version of a meatball and is usually oval and not round. It is a main course unto itself and prepared in a variety of ways - grilled, fried, sometimes stuffed with kaşar cheese (similar to a mild cheddar cheese) and typically served with a side of rice pilaf and grilled tomato slices and roasted green peppers. You can also have a köfte sandwich if on the run.

As you can see from the picture, the Liman Köftecisi restaurant's "house" special köfte resembles a kebab. Small pieces of pita bread is topped with a plain yogurt and tomato sauce (with out without garlic) and the round köfte (which has been sliced in half) is placed on top and the plate is further adorned with tomato slices and green peppers. If you like to eat "Turkish style" and like plain yogurt, you will definitely like this dish! However, if you don't, Liman also serves plain grilled köfte as well as köfte stuffed with kaşar cheese.

Normally, if you are very hungry, you would order a piyaz salad (navy bean) with sliced onions and parsley to accompany this dish - but it was more than enough for me and I left most of the pita bread because I am just eating TOO MUCH lately and I am NOT happy that I am gaining weight!

The menu at Liman Köftecisi also includes a few starters, salads and other mains and desserts. The prices are very moderate and this dish is the most expensive meal on the menu at 12.5 TL.

So, if you do go to Bodrum... definitely stop by Liman Köftecisi. They are open daily from noon to about midnight and usually very crowded. (Neyzen Tevfik Caddesi No. 172;  Tel: (0252) 316 50 60 - www.limankö

After a very quick lunch, I went to the hairdresser and then back to hotel to change and then jumped into a taxi to go to wedding site.

The wedding was being held at Bianca Beach Club in Bardakçı Bay, which is about 2 km from my hotel and a 11.5 TL cab ride away.

Located on the waterfront on the grounds of the Virgin Hotel (I really don't have anything nice to say about this hotel unfortunately, so I won't say anything except that the location is great, but the hotel needs a MAJOR upheaval!), the independently managed Bianca Beach Club has been at this location for the past two summer seasons: previously the beach club was in Gölköy. It is owned by Emre Ergani, a well-known Istanbul based "guru" on the night life scene with many popular venues in Istanbul, Bodrum and Çeşme (i.e. Biber Bar).

Zeyno, the bride was almost ready when I arrived and a flutter of friends and family were running around like chickens without heads... either having hair and make-up done, having pictures taken or like the groom - gulping down Johnnie Walker Black scotch (this is the group I joined)! I of course, immediately had a picture taken with the beautiful bride and my friend!

Now, let's fast forward to the wedding ceremony because I don't want to bore you with all the details... the ceremony itself was performed by a justice of the peace, the necessary documents were signed and the bride and groom were announced as husband and wife as tons of rice flew through the air!

Typical Turkish weddings are very quick - usually 5 - tops 10 minutes long! Also, there is no religious ceremony conducted - especially in more modern Turkish families. Even if there is a religious ceremony held, it is never done at the same time as the official ceremony.

Fast forward to end of wedding... we had a great time! There was lots of eating (yes... I did hit the buffet table this time as there was some delicious food!), drinking and dancing to DJ music. Also there was a FANTASTIC percussionist... Tufan Inci (aka Tufi - who really kicked up the beat at the end of the evening!

Just some final words about Bianca Beach ( before I end this post... The beach club is very spacious with a sundeck stretching out over the water too.

In season, Bianca Beach is home to the young and trendy vacationers primarly from Istanbul. Beach club by day, it is a club and restaurant by night. For more info, you can visit their website.

I spent Sunday morning sleeping in... packing and just relaxing at Kahve Dünyası at the Milta Bodrum Marina before I took a taxi to the airport for my 4:35pm flight home.

If you read my first post on Bodrum, I had mentioned that I took the Havaş Bus into town, but on the way home, I was too tired to bother with going to the bus terminal. The bus departs two hours before a THY (Turkish Airlines) flight ... in my case, it would have been at 2:30pm. I would have had to take a taxi to the bus terminal which would have cost about 12 TL and then pay 18 TL for the bus... but, I wanted to "treat" myself on the way home. So, I spoke to the taxi stand across the street from my hotel... the "normal" flat fee to the airport from Bodrum (prices change according to which village you are living from) is currently 90 TL, so I bargained! I didn't want to pay this much and paid the price (75 TL) I was willing to go up too! So, if you are in the same situation - try your luck! More than likely, a taxi driver will accept the price you offer!

Finally, I wish my friend Zeyno and her husband Batu ALL THE HAPPINESS IN THE WORLD - which they so deserve! I can't wait to see them when they return from their honeymoon!


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