I arrived to Pamukkale on my bus along with some Alabama yokels and a trio of Japanese guys that I met at my Istanbul hostel. We were surprised to see each other and decided to spend the day roaming around together. I didn’t have a lot that I needed to accomplish that day, so I didn’t mind bestowing my company on them that day.
Pamukkale is another UNESCO site both because of the nearby ruins, and also the natural springs that have welled up in the area following a tectonic shift. These spring waters have brought with them all sorts of minerals that are being deposited on the face of a mountain. Though there is a little human interference, the sight of this white mountain and Turk Quartz pools of water is worth the day trip. The three guys and myself walked over to the entrance, removed our shoes and began climbing up the slope where the water was flowing. This was the view from the start of our ascent.
We worked our way up slowly, retarded constantly by the need to take photos. Though I generally get annoyed having to pause for others to snap their shots, the companions did prove useful in helping me take care of mine. Not sure I would have framed it like this though. Oh, and since I’m sure you were all wondering, why yes, I have lost weight this trip.
We carried on towards the top, where some of the most beautiful pools are located. It isn’t possible to enter these ones which is probably why they still look so pristine, and certainly not because I enhanced the color slightly…
Our reward for getting to the top of the hill was the Cleopatra Pool, where the famous Egyptian ruler is said to have swum, and mineral water is also accredited as the source of her beauty. My Cappadocia tour guide had bigged up how cool it was to go there and swim among the ruins. When I saw it though, it was just a ton of Russians lounging about. There was nothing cultural about this whatsoever, and the need to pay 16 dollars just to swim in the murky waters guaranteed I would be sitting it out. I held on to the camera as the three others got in for a short while.
Once we regrouped, they ate and then went over to the historical ruins located just behind everything. Breakfast and lunch didn’t fit in my budget, so I would have to wait a not longer. We took some pictures of pillars and such before heading over to an ancient theater. Here we had a 15 minute siesta and before heading back down the way we came. This theater had seating for only 12,000 people.
On the way back down, I managed to slip on some of the chalky silt and expose my tablet to quite a bit of the water. I shut it down immediately, and when I later tried booting it up, I only got a picture of a dead android. I thought I killed it. It came back online a while later, though the camera wasn’t working. My only means of communication and documenting my trip was severely compromised, but miraculously everything started to work again. The best part about it was the souvenir photographs that I managed to snap during the fall. First, this one on the way down…
…and then this one actually taken underwater. I have no idea how this was possible.
All in all, this was a nice day trip. It had something unique to see, but it was quite touristy. On the way back I had another of my signature bread and cheese meals, before we waited around the bus station for our departure. Right next door were a number of Japanese restaurants, but if figured there was no way that it could be as good as I was used to. My baguette and nomadic cheese on the other hand was superb. All this cheese is making me feel so….cultured. (寒っ…)