Pamukkale, Turkey – 14/08/2010
A quick 4 hour bus ride away and I arrive at the hot hole that is Denizli – which isn’t really much to write home about. Its a big urban centre thats choked with traffic. A mini bus ride away is where I want to be and it takes another 30 minutes to get to the small town of Pamukkale.
I get off in what is supposed to be the centre of town and an old man rings the ‘hostel’ that I am staying at to come pick me up. Score. So I wait for the ride to come and when it turns up I’m a little shocked they turned up on a scooter. So with my backpack and my bag I jump on for a short ride where I thought I was gonna fall off about 10 times to the ‘hostel’. Checking in is a breeze and I’m shown to my room I was expecting a dorm room but for 7 euros I get a twin room to myself.
The reason for coming to Pamukkale, well there is only one and its directly in front of the hostel. The White Travertines are famous the world over for its Calcium rich travertines. Its pushing 50 and I don’t really wanna be wandering at this time luckily though the travertines and hieropolis is open 24/7!
At about 5ish I set off from my air condition bunker and head on up. Its all still a little disheartening having to shell out 10 euros/20TL for each attraction. Its a damn shame really. But walking up you get the impression its worth it.
After a short walk we hit the travertine area, where everyone takes their shoes or thongs off (flip flops/jandals for you other fools) and then you walk along to the top of the travertine. You can stop off at various travertine pools to ‘cool’ off. Though I don’t know how cooling it would be – the water is the temperature of a warm bath. Its still a pretty splendid view.
At the top of the Travertine and thongs back on you come to the ruins of Hieropolis. These ruins are pretty spread out at the top and its your typical roman ruins with a big ampitheatre and the usual columns. But it just doesn’t bring that ‘wow’ factor that an Ephesus or a Pompeii ruin gives you.
The ruins also have the pool of cleopatra where you can swim above sunken ruins. But alas you also have to pay for this pleasure. The Turkish Tourism and Government seem to be inclined to ripping every visitor off for as many Lira as possible. Its quite a shame that you constantly have to shell out money for attractions time and time again. Yet other cities and countries offer you a musuem/cultural attaction card that allows entry. And although Turkey offer this, its to their own citizens only. I constantly feel ripped off by this.
I’m lucky enough to time my visit to perfection and as I am walking down the Travertine’s I am greeted by a sunset that is one of the prettiest you’ll see – especially contrasting with the white background of the Travertine’s!
Dinner is had down in the centre of town somewhere – every where has ‘tourist’ prices unfortunately but we find a cheap place with Kofte burgers. Unfortunately we can’t get beer there as its underneath a mosque. Pesky little mosques. We get talking to a Turkish guy who constantly tries to sell me on the ‘blue cruises’ but he does shout us a good turkish tea at his hostel.