Pamukkale is a three-hour drive from Selcuk, the majority of which I sleep right through. I’m not actually sure if the little town with nothing to do at the bottom of the mountains is Pamakkule, or if the actual attraction is called Pamakkule, but honestly I can’t be bothered right now. I start the walk up towards the calcium pools with a stroll (or sweaty hike in the blazing sun) through Heiropolis and its necropolis. OK the ruins are not impressive after what I saw yesterday at Ephesus, but the scenery was nice. Very Little House on the Prairie, except well with a lot of stones and old ruins that Laura Ingall Wilder definitely failed to tell us about.
Near the top you come to a big expanse of what looks like glaciers and snow covering the side of the mountain on a couple fronts. And you know back when antifreeze in the winter for your car, and the cooler in the park was cool? Picture that bright sky baby blue, in pools layered throughout the landscape. The doings of calcium deposits, Pammakule really is a site, and a freakish one at that. You’re sitting there, sweating your balls off
in the summer Turkey sun, surrounded by a whole lot of green and camel brown, but somehow in the middle of nowhere, it’s like you stepped into Narnia or something. Which I suppose would fit very well if I only had Edmond, the White Witch, and some turkish delight with me.
Apparently Russian ladies like to frequent the calcium pools at Pamakkule and they do this in microscopic bikinis by Muslim standards. It’s quite a strange sight, picture a conservative Muslim woman with her long robes and headscarf wading carefully into the pools, even having the bottom of her skirt dragging in the water to maintain her modesty. She holds the hands of two small conservative children in the making, all of them carefully inching their way deeper and deeper. Enter tall, thin, model-esque Russian hottie prancing and splashing her way right past them, think poor bum in the street gets sprayed with the passing of a red hot Ferrari. And think conservative Muslim man standing right next to this, eyes popping, mouth agape at the Russian, fantasy and harlot in one. OK so maybe the scene doesn’t play out like that EXACTLY, but the Muslim women are there,
and the tall Russian babes are there too. It is definitely a strange sight. And it becomes a bit comical when you see these Russian girls having their own “photo shoots” in the pools, hair tossed back, bedroom eyes locked and loaded, all in the center of a very clearly family-oriented natural landscape attraction.
After you finish with the actual natural landscape, there is “Cleopatra’s pool” which is a man-made, very miniature water park feel, at the base of some ruined ampitheater. This is confusing because excuse me if I’m mistaken, but I’m pretty sure Cleopatra was a fascinating EGYPTIAN queen that, wily minx, seduced Roman leaders in EGYPT and killed herself with two asps in a milk bath in EGYPT. (Is it worrying that as a child I chose to do biography report after biography report on a woman such as herself?) OK whatever. Either way, maybe this is like dental care where Americans have higher standards compared to the rest of the world, maybe we have higher standards for public pools that you have to pay 20 Turkish Lira to swim in. Because this doesn’t look appetizing at all to me or the other Americans, but the
European tourists were going crazy over it. Thanks but I will pass on wading (and submerging my head and nostrils!) in man-made, semi-clear, still-standing freshwater, that I have to pay for and don’t even have buff shiny lifeguards to look at.
I am currently writing this in an Internet cafe, it is about 5pm in the afternoon and this whole place is flooded with grade-school Turkish males playing computer games. All I hear are cartridges being changed, shots being fired, excited boyish laughter. Over in the corner they have some sort of video game tournament and NO, it is not Guitar Hero so I will save these boys their dignities for today. I am definitely an outsider in this shop, sitting at the only booth in the other corner without an actual computer using the wireless connection. And every time I raise my eyes there is some 8 year old boy staring at me. It’s like I’m in a zoo. Then I change into my Puma hot pants again for the bus ride to Goreme tonight, and one of them tells me “so sexy!” when I come back in. Are you serious? Did I just get hit on by
prepubescent? I want to ask him back if he even has pubic hair yet, but restrain myself at the thought of being locked up in a Turkish jail cell on charges of pedophile sexual harassment.
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