The second day in Pamukkale, I decided to sleep in - the first time I've been able to truly relax on my little trip. I got some breakfast around 8:30 - cucumbers, bread with butter, olives, and cheese with pomegranate juice - before checking out at 9:30. I left my bags at the hotel and walked up to Pamukkale once again. Going up this morning was so much more refreshing - it was cool and there were hardly any tourists walking. I was able to take my time to get some good photos and enjoy this beautiful natural creation.
Well, as natural as it can be. I love the fact that tourists are allowed to visit and thoroughly enjoy these areas, but sometimes you worry about the traffic destroying nature. The park here has a good philosophy down though: they control the water flow. Every so often, they redirect the water flow to other areas of the park, so you'll see some photos have empty travertines; at some point, they'll have water and the area that I was in gets its turn to "heal". They are also very strict about ensuring the people stay within the proscribed boundaries of foot
probably my best shot
traffic. Everybody, including nature, wins.
The way up was an easy 20 minute hike and just so pleasant. I went to the Cleopatra's pools, hoping it was not too busy. There were lots of people, but it was not overly crowded. So, i paid the extra 32TL to go swimming; I was a little disappointed that it bought you just one time entrance fee to the pool. So, I swam around the pool for almost an hour, spending most of my time in the bubbling deep end. Word of recommendation: I was happy to pay this because I planned to lounge around in this park area all day; they have restaurants and loungers throughout the beautiful landscaped area - I wound up reading my book, getting lunch, taking photos, and just relaxing. If you are only here for one day and have just a couple of hours to spare, I recommend using it in the free travertine pools (well, it costs 20TL to get into the whole park).
The pools are named for Cleopatra, who supposedly bathed in this area or something, but I question this. Apparently an earthquake in the 7th century shaped the current pool (so
how could Cleo have swum in it?), so there are toppled columns and other artifacts spread throughout the pool which is just awesome. I also noticed in the bubbly area that my arms and legs and basically every part of my body submersed was covered in little gas bubbles - it was pretty cool! And as my guide from yesterday had said, you kind of feel like you're swimming in a very light oil - it feels slightly different from regular water.
After leaving the Antique Pools, I wandered around and decided to take some more photos of the travertines from another side of the park. And may I just say - holy tourists! There were probably double the amount of tourists from the day before. I got some good photos from that angle though and glad I made my way over. Now, I just had to walk downhill, barefoot, on an area that can get slick through throngs of people. Yikes! I'm not a fan of crowds and I just wanted to get down! I made it about 30 minutes later and headed back to my hotel to change, update you guys and get ready for my 5pm
shuttle to the airport.
I will have a summary blog tomorrow about all my observations in Turkey. In the meantime, enjoy today's photos!
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