Reflecting Pools

Trip Start May 07, 2010
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Trip End May 22, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of Turkey  , Denizli,
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hi Everyone,

    This morning we decided to sleep in from days of long traveling. It was so nice to be able to hear the sound of water from your room. We are also able to see the gigantic hill of calcium/ Limestone covered Travertine pools from our window. Due to Icelandic volcano and slumping ecomony, there are few tourists here and the hotel and pension owners are all begging for customer. My pension owner settled for 30 Lira a night for our stay, only $ 20 for 2 :)

     Our main agenda today is visiting the infamous Pamukkale Travertine pools and Hierapolis Roman ruin. The curing properties of the hot mineral springs is famous even back in the Roman times, in order to enjoy to hot pools, Romans build a city- Hierapolis on top of the pools to allow proximity and easy access to the pools. The city of Hierapolis was found back in 200 BC and it fourished under multiple empires including Pergamon, Roman, Byzantine and finally the Seljuk. It suffered several severe earthquakes that devasted the city and it was finally abandoned in 1300 AD. It was unearthed by archeologists in
      
      We were originally going to visit Afrodisia as well but it is too far away and no direct bus, so we are just concentrating our time here. I went to the grocery store and bought Angela a pair of sandals as they should be good for walking the water pools.

     The walk up the Travertine pools is one of the most incredible experience in a life time. The travertine pools formed after million of years of calcium deposits from underground hot mineral water flowing to the surface. In order to protect the pools from tourists damages, the most spectacular layered pool section is now closed and the tourists can only walk barefoot up the hills of the calcium layers. The view is just amazing, with crystal blue refecting pools and streams of water flowing down. I am not used to walking barefoot and the walk up the travertine pools was excruciatingly painful. The little pebbles and calcilum rocks with jagged edges didn't really help. Only thing I can do is stop and take photos as I go the alievate the pain. This place is just like the stalegtite and stalegmite in the cave but only out doors. The pure whiteness of the area is just like snow covered and surreal.

     We visited the Hierapolis ruins up top. First the Antique pools with hot mineral water  and pieces of ruins inside. There are so many tourists ther soaking the hot mineral spring and swimming in the pool. Then we walked behind the Ancient pool and visite the Nymphaeum, Temple of Apollo and Plutonium. Plutonium apparently gives off toxic fumes that causes death and back in ancient times, it was blocked off as sacred area. We walk west of the ruins to the massive Necropolis. But on the way there, we saw a dark cloud flying in and the cold wind was howling, In a few minute , the pouring rain started. We had no cover and was forced to run back to the Antique pool area for cover. We  actually paid for the museum to get in for over and kill time until the rain passes. Then the sun comes out and its hot again. Very strange weather, hot ,cold,  hot ,cold. 

     After arriving at the top of Amphitheatre, I saw a bunch of Russian tourists and I said hi to one of the lady in Russian, she them turned around and said a bunch of thing in Russian to Angela and she had no clue. I then chatted with that lady in Russian briefly about the beautiful ruin up above. I was getting quite excited to see so many Russian tourists here that I get to Practice. It is very interesting to see specific tourists likes certain spots around Turkey more than the other. May be the Russian Banya is reminiscent of here with the hot minearl bath thus they flock over to enjoy it, besides, Moscow is only a few hours away by flight.

      On the way down, Angela and I originally decided to walk the wooden step to avoid the Travertine as the little rocks jabbed our feet a lot. But the wooden steps ended and there was no other way down thus we turned back for the dreaded Travertine. We stopped by the panoramic view and soaked our feet in the hot mineral water....ahhh so good....didin't want to leave. Then I took a Panoramic photo. The way down the Travertine was very painful as the small pebbles jabbed our feet, only way to stop the pain is to walk on smooth limestone areas. W finally made it down....YES...Now for some delicious dinner. We tried the Gozleme a Turkish crepe filled with cheese and spinach, yum and a plate of shish kabab while I lay flat on the comfy Turkish futon......The apple tea was great too.

     Toight we were at our hotel await for the night bus to Cappadocia.
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