Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is it snow? Is it sand? No, it's Pamukkales, "Cotton Castles" 10-03-11

We took the free shuttle to the entrance of the cotton castles", you have to take your shoes off at this point to protect the calcium deposits. The calcium deposit covers everything and spills over making a magnificent frosting effect on all it touches. It is solid and not slippery in most places and the water cascading down it is warm, even extremely warm in some areas. They boast not one but seventeen thermal springs, some are only lukewarm while others are almost boiling. Some areas do have a softer silty feel to them "gel" they call it and it was definitely all uphill. It only took about 15 min to hike to the top and then you can spend your time exploring. There were even people in their swim suits wading in the small pools. The healing properties of the pools due to the high calcium content are renowned for its effects on skin and circulatory conditions. There is even a gift shop a museum and an ancient pool. Its about 20 lira pp to get into the travertines and an extra fee if you want to swim in the ancient pool or see the museum. If you just want to wander around the ancient mineral pool its free which is nice but I would recommend taking a dip in the natural thermal spring, another 20 lira pp. You can see heliopolis and necropolis at this site as well. It was an awe inspiring, spiritual, ancient place to visit no wonder it is now one of the world heritage sites. UNESCO World Heritage Site list

  Here's a local legend-a local girl was so ugly that no one wanted to marry her and she decided to commit suicide.  She threw herself in to one of the natural pools at Pamukkale and was transformed in to a ravishing beauty.  Naturally a passing noble man decided to marry her and they lived happily ever after.

The only down side-there was no shuttle back to the hotel and we could not find the foot path so we took a cab instead of walking and it was another 20 lira.

We got back to the hotel around noon, grabbed our luggage and headed to the bus station for a 6 hr ride to Fethiye. We had booked a 4 day "gulet" cruise and had to be on board early the next morning.              What's a Gulet anyway?

TIP: To avoid the "snow" blind whiteness try to go there in the late afternoon, also by then most of the tour buses have left and you will have the place practically to yourself. We went around 10am and the sun was really glaring for most of our pictures.

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