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Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale
December 7th 2013
Published: December 7th 2013
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Near Pamukkale there is a large, well preserved ancient Roman city. We walked through its streets and Necropolis. The Necropolis is huge since many people came to this city to try to be cured of illnesses by the hot springs. There is rank upon rank of tombs and older style tumulus, where they mounded earth in a circle over top a tomb. There are tombs set on top of tombs. You can see some carvings left, to protect their owners. The city has some of its market preserved, the latrines, a large part of its library, the theatre is in very good shape (could fit 3000), and parts of the Artemis temple although the Apollo lies under water in the calcium hot spring pool due to earth quakes. Walking through the market and sitting on the risers of the theatre, I once again hear the voices of the people of the past, the bustle and movement of their lives, it is easy to imagine what once was in this place. We then had to experience the hot springs. These calcium springs have been tumbling over the cliff for millennium. They have left thick deposits of Calcium like icing over everything. There is a rushing channel of water where you can sit and soak your legs and feet. The pools terrace down and down the cliff side with bottoms thick with white calcium silt that squish up between your toes. You walk bare foot along side the pools to the bottom of the hills so that the cliffs are not ruined by all the tourist boots. It's fun, because the water is warm, the calcium is either smooth harden where dry or mucky soft under the pools. Jacob went for a swim in the maintained pool over the Apollo temple ruins, as I sat on the pool deck watching. The cliffs are almost blinding in the light the white is so intense, and lit up at night they are most beautiful. Before supper, we had one more experience. We went to see a whirling dervish ceremony. This was not a dance/show, this was a time of prayer. We went to a dervish school and four students and their teacher prayed in front of us with three musicians from the school. We got to hear very good Sufi music and experience the mysticism of the dervishes. They whirl to get closer to the movement of all particles and therefore to get closer to the creation and Allah. We asked many questions after the service and got a very good sense of the belief and culture, there are even woman dervishes and have always been, but they never perform in front of others. The service was an hour and I was mesmerized the whole time. It was a great day.

The next morning we were off for Selçuk, near Ephesus. On our way, we stopped at a beautiful little summer restaurant that was opened to us as a cooking class for lunch. We got a great (probably the best) meal and got to watch how some of our favourite recipes were made. Our host made his own wine from the grapes in the yard and his biggest product was his own cold pressed olive oil. We continued on to Selçuk and had enough time to wander the downtown core of this small town, before coming back to the hotel and snuggle in to bed. Jacob played backgammon with one of the store owners in one of the stores where I shopped for jewelry. They like it here that he can play backgammon, since it seems to be the national pastime. We now have a game installed on our IPad.

Good Night and Sweet Dreams


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