Eh, best day ever?!

Trip Start Sep 05, 2011
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Trip End Jan 04, 2012


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Flag of Turkey  , Denizli,
Thursday, October 20, 2011

I woke up bright and spritely and headed off to check the prices of the paragliding as I was keen to do it before heading to the magniferous Travertines. 

We ate breakfast as a cute little Turkish place served by a cute lil headscarfed Turkish woman. After breakfast, the elusive trapped fragment of contact lens reared its ugly head. But this time I wasn't the only one who believed it – 'I see it!’ shouted rob as he began poking my eyeball with his grubby fingers trying to get it out. I ran inside and found a mirror and pulled the fucker out. 8 days of eye discomfort and blurry vision were over. It wasn’t a fragment in the end, it was more than half a contact lens and it had some pretty sharp edges that have obviously been scraping the shit out of my eye for over a week. I took much pleasure in watching it shrivel up and die before tossing it on the ground like the cad that it was.

We found the paragliding store full of stoners (as one would expect) and some zany Swiss girl called Sibby. I was already convinced to do it but the main guy showed us some videos and Sibby talked it up as well. I booked myself in for a 1 o clock flight. The travertines would have to wait. I went back to the hostel to dump my stuff and to my surprise Rob came into my room and exclaimed ‘fuck it, im gonna do it too’ which surprised me as rob really usually isn’t into extreme stuff at all. He prefers cuddling bunnies in meadows and kitten kisses. 

We headed back at 1 and drove up to the top of a nearby mountain with some beers sloshing around as we needed a bit of dutch courage. Sibby came with us, as she was a qualified paraglider who had been jumping for over 9 years. As you can imagine its pretty laborious to get registered in Switzerland.

We reached the top and the view was spectacular. I got paired with the more stoned dude, who had forgotten his carabiner at the bottom (which I worked out as carabiner in Turkish is carabiner-chuk). I got into my awesome zippy jumpsuit and got attached to Stoner. Luckily Sibby very generously leant us her carabiner. We began walking and then frantically running and we were up in the air. It was really exhilarating being up in the air at the start cos it really feels like you are flying. You aren’t too high up so you can see the ground in pretty good detail. It also helped that we were flying up over the roman ruins and the travertines. Paragliding is awesome - it's not like skydiving which was this absolutely massive and intense andrenaline rush. Instead it was like a massive buzz and a sense of floating in serenity and you had plenty of time to take in the surroundings and the feeling of gliding in a current.  
 
We flew in the air for 10 or so minutes before crash landing at the landing site, picking up a big gash on my knee. Rob landed down safely 5 minutes later and his competent glider immediately started berating the Stoner for the blood trickling down my leg. 

We guzzled down our lunch and then ambled up towards the main attraction of the day - the Travertines. These are a natural wonder made by calcium deposited by hot springs. We paid in and took our shoes off as they dont want you damaging the site. The landscape was like that of an iceberg or the moon, with white undulating mountains that looked like candle wax. It was a really sunny day and the light lit them up - it was a really spectacular site. For some reason the calcium forms in kind of pools and the water in them is hot. I stripped down and had a good old bath in one of the pools, it was redonkulously luxurious. 

As if the day hadn't been awesome enough as it was, there was one part left to go - the ruins of the ancient roman city Hierapolis. This was built on top of the Travertines as people would come to the hot springs for their medicinal and healing powers. The town had as much as 100,000 inhabitants at one point and you could see this is the enormous scale of all the ruins. By far the best part was the amphitheatre. It was easily the best preserved one Ive ever seen, even better than Ephesus. again the acoustics were absolutely unbelievable. Rob and I stood on opposite sides of the theatre, around 50m away from each other and were able to have a conversation in our normal voices really clearly. It had to be heard to be believed!

It was beginning to get late into the day and Rob had to go back to sort out some rent issues. I hung around the ruins and took some photos as the sun set and then walked back down the slopes of the Travertines in my bare feet again to reach the bottom. What an amazing day!

The day wasnt totally awesome though as there was one casualty! although my watch is water-proof, the calcium in the water must have seeped in as it now reads the time as L34knw. Sadface
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