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Published: October 20th 2015
Like every bus journey we've made in Turkey Antalya to Denizli was an uneventful breeze – helpful people at the otogar to point us in the right direction, plenty of available seats, modern comfortable buses, smooth driving, onboard wifi - not at all what we're used to. We didn't even have to wait for the dolmuş to Pamukkale fill up as we got nearly the last two seats. All a bit too good to be true, but we'll take the smooth with the rough.
It turns out the travertine’s at Pammukale have been getting drier for years – too much water being diverted for commercial uses apparently, so it was less spectacular than we'd expected. Even if we'd known this in advance we'd still have gone so it was definitely worth the visit, but lacked the wow factor we'd looked forward to. In compensation the Greco-Roman Byzantine (it had a lot of development over the years) city of Hierapolis, built at the top of the hill, was way better than we thought it was going to be so everything balanced in the end.
Water shortages have been a recurring theme all along our route. Starting from Beijing where the
desert is getting closer each year and where the Chinese are building a massive canal to move water from South to North, through Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan where cotton growing has dried out the Aral Sea, to Iran where in some cities only showers (no baths) are allowed to save water, and now to Pamukkale in Turkey. A candidate for the cause of future conflicts ? It looks like it to us.
The ancient city of Ephesus is our next port of call.
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