Today we were part of another tour. The attractions are spread out around Kuşadasi, very unlike Istanbul and Cappadocia, and today we travelled hours and hours to get to one. We got our first glimps of Pamukkale at its base, when we stopped for lunch and to dip our fingers in the mineral water.
Pamukkale is a Turkish word that means “cotton castle” and you can see why that is fitting (although a Canadian would have named it perma-snow). The white cotton-candy like stuff behind me is caused by supersaturated calcium carbonate hot-spring water precipitating out over the mountain side. On top of the mountain, the results are these beautiful travertines
Clearly we had a lovely time splashing around in the water, but it wasn’t as warm as we could wish. Luckily, up around the ruins of Hierapolis, the hot waters had been collected in an antique pool. In the Roman Empire period, Hierapolis was a health centre visited by thousands of people who bathed in and drank the waters, believing it had healing properties. We tried it, it tasted nasty.
We spent the rest of our time here soaking in the pool, which has temperatures of 36-57 °C. It was like swimming in Perrier, the effervescent waters would form bubbles all over our skin and it was glorious gliding over ancient submerged marble columns.