Tuesday 21st August (Pamukkale)
I managed to get some shut eye on the bus, but it was not the most comfortable night I've spent. The bus arrived at Denizli at 5.30am, and those transferring ushered off. Lots of shouting and chasing around looking for people transferring to Pamukkale. Thanks to the ticketing system, the driver of the minibus knew exactly how many people he was looking for. You're right. We lost one. Half an hour later, one mystified Japanese girl was found wandering round the bus station. So off we went. Pamukkale is about 30 minutes away, and we duly arrived at the "bus station". (The local travel agent who obviously has the bus contract)
All the passengers except me seem to be backpackers, who having arrived were at a total loss about what to do and where to go. That was finally sorted, and I was transferred to my hotel. Although it was only 7.30am when I got there, they were able to find me a room. Pick up for my tour is 10am, so I had a choice of breakfast or a couple of hours sleep. The sleep won.
Pamukkale really is only a one horse town. But what a magnificent thoroughbred of a horse it is. This has to be one of the most spectacular places in the world. The name Pamukkale translates as "cotton castle", and from a distance that is what it looks like. The volcanic hot springs in the area are rich in minerals, and comes out as calcium bicarbonate in the form of limestone and travertine. These can be seen from miles away. People come from all over the world to bathe in the hot waters here.
Next to Pamukkale, and there because of it, is the ancient city oh Hierapolis. This was founded in the 1st century BC, and at its peak had over 100,000 inhabitants.
|The Necropolis at Heiropolis|
|A Bath, Then a Church as the Necropolis Got Closer|
|The Northern gate|
As recently as the mid 20th century, hotels were built over the ruins of Heropolis, causing considerable damage. An approach road was built from valley over the limestone deposits, and motor bikes were allowed to go up and down the slopes.
However when the area was declared a world heritage site, the hotels were demolished and the road removed and replaced with artificial pools. The wearing of shoes has been prohibited in the water to try and protect the deposits.
A refreshing walk down to the bus now for a trip back to my hotel. This is really a nice place. Probably everybody's picture of a spa hotel.
As they have a Turkish bath here, I once again treated myself after a long day of walking.
|The Former Road|
|The Walk Down|
Getting a little low on the clean shirt front. Because of the heat, if you wear a shirt for more than one day, people start avoiding you. As they're not actually dirty as such, I had the brilliant idea of putting them in the shower tray and washing them there. I carefully then hung them over the chair on my balcony to dry, which they were within an hour.
My programme says that I have a train trip to Selcuk tomorrow with a full day tour of Ephasus and Kusadasi. However my train doesn't leave here till 1615, so no chance of a day trip. I suspect that the free day on Thursday has been utilised. to allow me to recover. Unfortunately I can't ask, as for some reason my Turkish SIMM card has stopped working. I suppose I'll find out one way or another.