Part two of my winter holiday, Pammukale. Two and a bit hours from Selcuk has you in Denizli, the bus ticket including a free 20 minute mini bus transfer to Pamukkale. Complete with obligatory attempted ripping off by bus drivers. No we do not need to pay you to take us the few feet to our hotel after you have driven us as far away from it as you possibly can. Thank you very much.
Pamukkale felt a little strange. Out of season, the little tourist targeted shops and restaurants it does have were mostly closed, leaving behind an eerie village, complete with barking dogs and a locals club with music resonating through to the early hours. So used to the heaving big city life of Istanbul, having the chance to get a taste of rural Turkey was more than interesting. Fresh air at last.
The morning saw our forray to the calcium coloured cliffs or travertines (sedimentary rock deposited by hot spring water). An amazing sight that should be mandatory to any visitor in Turkey. Just wonderful. A 20tl entrance price perfectly reasonable for this tourist friendly sight of natural beatuty. Before making our way up the travertines we hired a peddle boat and bobbed around on the natural spring water filled lake feasting our eyes on this feat of nature never before espied by the likes of me. My partner and I can never resist a cheap boat ride.
No shoes allowed when walking on the travertines, bad news to the off season winter traveller. That is until you get your feet into the lovely warm water that flows down. Perfect.
The ruins of the ancient city of Hieropolis, awaits at the top of the travertines. Founded in the 2nd century BC, the site has been used for tourism purposes since then, the Romans using it as a spa town/resort.
Not wanting to exit back down the travertines we exited at the gift shop (the top bit by the car park). Down a hilly bit we went, spotting some roman tombs and a bit of ancient (or at least old) bridge embedded into a hillside.
One of the perks of living in Turkey. Random ruins. It doesn’t take much more than the naked eye to spot them about, even deep into the European side of Istanbul. Random ruins in the park I kid you not.
In all we spent two nights in Pammukale, having accepted an offer of home cooked Turkish food from the wife of the hotel owner. I had no idea something so bland could be allowed to pass as food for the price of 17tl. You live and you learn.