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Published: November 1st 2016
You all saw those postcard pictures....but can you only put the location on the map? I couldn't precisely few months ago too, but I cannot claim to have see the world without making it one day to Pamukkale.
From Cappadocia, I could have fly back to Istanbul, than transfer to another flight to Denizli. Instead, I went on the backpacker way. I spent my night in two buses plus a minivan all the way from Urgup to Pamukkale. The bus ticket was 17usd. I had no idea what to expect. The buses were full. These buses are not really the one you find on long distances in South America. They were clean, service was decent....but a comfortable night it was not. These buses must be great for a 4-5 hours day ride...not that easy for a full night. We were dropped in Denizli on the middle of nowhere to transfer for the one hour minibus transfer to Pamukkale that we reached just before 6am....as the sun was slowly rising...
The little village was dead at the time. I bought straight on my transfer back to Denizli airport the same day at 4pm. Good news, the
travel agent let you drop your bag for the full day in their shop. Great idea! A shower would have been great, but that would have to wait later that evening!
The gate by the village to the site doesn't open before 8.30am. It was way too early, and nothing to do around here that early in the morning. They had the next gate, on top of the site opening earlier...I just had to walk the 3-4km up to get there. It was a great idea, as you have the site for yourself when you enter before 8am! Amazing!
The site has been developed due to the mineral values of the place. A full city was built on these huge spa pools! All these white shades are brought by Calcium carbonate. For further technical information, I invite you to google Pamukkale!
Most of the ancient city is basically a big pile of rubble....frequent earthquakes don't really help...and they are strong and frequent in this area! The main theater is still pretty intact. Standing on top of it offer an amazing view of the area. You do not see the white calcium
carbonate pools from here...but the view is still amazing. Once you walk away from the main site, I was on my own, all the time!
By 10am, the hordes of tourists made it to the sites. It's mainly national Turkish tourists as well as huge groups of Russians. We are only few hours drive from places like Izmir. So Pamukkale is a great long day trip from the most famous beaches of Turkey. Most Europeans are long gone this year from Turkey, but the Russians are still there.
I guess I'm still lucky. It seems this year figures are down by easily 50% on the site. By 11am, I had enough of the crowds. I have to admit, being on my own here all the way from around 7am to 10 am was a pretty amazing experience that I won't regret.
While the crowds were queuing at the lower gate to get in, I went down for a long and lazy lunch. Pamukkale is a serious postcard deal, and I'm happy I did it in good conditions.
I was soon on the road for the one hour minibus
transfer to Denizli Airport...next stop, Istanbul!
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