We had a fun day today and I was happy to be feeling better. After breakfast (we always have yogurt at breakfast but today's was a particularly thick, tasty version), at the Ata Park hotel's sea front restaurant, we checked out and began our drive to Pamukkale. We made several stops on the way. Mid morning we stopped for a refreshment break, where Susan and I enjoyed Turkish coffees. I'm really loving Turkish coffee and we have one every chance we get. It is similar to the Arabic coffee we make at home.
We continued on our way, through very pretty scenery. We passed through pine forests, then drier, more stony areas. There was lots of agriculture in this area, and we passed lots of greenhouses. Corn, oranges, pomegranate, and melons are grown here. We see lots of farmers selling melons by the side of the road - they look like watermelon and another kind of melon. There are lots of traditionally dressed women about. We made a stop to take photos of sesame seed stalks drying in the sun, which isn't something any of us had seen before.
We climbed higher in the mountains, and stopped for lunch
at Parlak Restaurant, which had a nice view (it was at the top of quite a few stairs). I had a spinach and cheese pancake which I enjoyed. Not too long after lunch we arrived in Pamukkale. As we got closer to Pamukkale we could see these amazing looking white terraces with what looked like small black spots on them. What are those black spots, I wondered, and as we got closer I realized they were people. They really stood out on the white terraces. Pamukkale is a spectacular natural phenomenon which was created by calcium deposits from thermal waters that cascaded down the mountainside over hundreds of years, forming many pools and terraces. It really is quite a magical sight. It was much hotter here, particularly around the hot springs. We waded in the pools and walked around the terraced areas, all the while admiring the marvellous scenery. Pamukkale is a popular site and there were lots of tourists here, particularly Russian tourists.
Very close to Pamukkale are the Roman ruins of Hierapolis. Hierapolis was founded in 190 BCE and by the 2nd C CE was an important Roman bath centre. We walked to Hierapolis, and walked around
Lori all set to head out!
Complete with suitcase, daypack and shoulder bag.
the ruins for several hours. It was a very interesting site. The Russian tourists here seem to be unable to take photos of each other without striking a pose. It was pretty funny. Very un-Canadian! We were aiming to walk as far as St Philips Church, but I don't think we made it that far. I wasn't up to walking any further (I was feeling a lot better but not as energetic as usual).
We headed back to Pamukkale to see Cleopatra's Pool, which wasn't as impressive as I thought it was going to be. I was expecting more - for it to be larger or something. It did have ancient stones in the water which were interesting. It was full of Russian tourists (someone should tell Russian men not to wear those teeny speedos - eeek!) We saved time to check out the very nice gift shop (where we bought t-shirts for my parents, two coasters, and a book on Pamakkale-Hierapolis).
We drove to our hotel in Pamukkale - Tripolis Hotel. Our room is much more spacious than the Ata Park Hotel in Fethiye last night. We did some laundry and hung it up to dry on
a line we strung up on the balcony. (On this trip we have mostly been hand washing our laundry and hanging it to dry in the room or on a balcony. The only time we found a laundromat was in Kas). We then went for a dip in the hotel's large pool, the water was a bit chilly and the sun was just going down, so we soon switched to the thermal pool, which was very nice. We then showered and met the group for dinner at the hotel. It was a buffet, and while I'm generally not a fan of buffets (except for breakfast), this was quite good. There was a good selection of salads so I had a big salad (Nihat has mostly warned us off salad because of concern over the water the salad ingredients are washed in, but he said it was ok to have it here). I skipped the mains, and tried a sampling of desserts. I'm not drinking until my stomach is completely better, so no Efes for me. Chris, who is a nurse, gave me some medication (I didn't recognize the name so it must have a different name in Australia) which helped
Tomorrow we drive to Ephesus. It should be pretty spectacular so I hope I am further improved tomorrow so I can fully enjoy it. We are very excited to see it! It's almost 11 so I will close for now - we are watching BBC News now - usually that is the only English channel. Looking forward to another great day in Turkey tomorrow.
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