Blogs from Pamukkale, Aegean, Turkey, Middle East


Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale March 31st 2018

Anticipation, expectation, inspiration,giddiness, baited breath… no thesaurus could list enough words to describe my feelings as we pull up to my most longed for experiencing of place. Pamukkale, known as 'Cotton Castle’s is laid out before me in all its glistening white splendour and I can't wait to get up there and see it in close up. Sometimes if you big things up too much they disappoint in reality but not this time. As we reach the start of the white calcified surface of the mountainside with warm water trickling down we have to take off our shoes and walk to the top bare footed so as not to damage it. The feeling under foot is a little rough, the surface made of pretty ridged patterns a little like wet sand on the shore. We pass ... read more
Pamukkale cotton castles
Pamukkale cotton castles
Pamukkale cotton castles

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale August 16th 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 ... read more
This is the result of calcium carbonate
Main theatre of Hieropolis
These pools where carved to reach the bottom of the valley...

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale May 29th 2016

The travertine terraces of Pamukkale must have been pretty striking in ancient times, too, because a Hellenistic king founded a city called Hierapolis on the plateau above them. It was quite large and a few parts remain impressive today, such as a theatre on the hillside, the northern city gateway and an enormous area full of fancy tombs. I spent several hours roaming around the city (at a much slower pace than we did on the tour - there were certain people always keen to wrap it up and get to the beer!) The sun was blazing and I got burnt in unexpected places, such as strips on my feet where my sandals have gaps.... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale May 28th 2016

It was a travel day today: 3.5 hours on a bus trying to be a plane and 30 minutes on a bus trying to be a taxi. What I'd heard about Turkish intercity buses was all true: they're run more like planes, with seat-back screens, reclining bucket seats and drink+snack service. Not a bad way to travel. Then I took a dolmuş for the final leg of the trip to Pamukkale: a bus with about 15 seats that serves smaller places. Not many foreign tourists here. The owner of the hotel told me that even though it's early in the season there would normally be more Western Europeans and North Americans. The mineral springs were pretty busy, but almost everyone seemed to be Turkish.... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale November 4th 2015

We arrived in Denizli, the main city near Pamukkale, a little than expected. Along the way our bus stopped to pick up a guy on the side of the road; it looked like his whole village had come out to say farewell. There was lots of dancing, cheering and throwing him up in the air. Eventually he climbed onto the bus and we continued on our way towards Denizli…with a motorcade of his (drunk) friends driving in front of us very slowly, weaving in and out of each other and blocking entire width of the road so that we couldn’t overtake. After about 15 minutes of that they stopped in front of the bus and the guy got off the bus to dance with them for a while longer before he finally hopped back on and ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale October 15th 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 ... read more
View From The Top
One Of The Few Pools With Water
More Empty Pools

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale August 20th 2015

There are seven churches in Asia minor that are addressed in the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. We were in/or near four of the seven today and we'll be in Ephesus later this week. I don't know much about the Book of Revelation, but this journey is transforming these abstract communities into real people with real struggles. As we speed down the highway after landing in Izmir (Smyrna), we are surrounded by beautiful mountains, fields of grapes, figs (fresh figs from the road side stand are way better than Fig Newtons), oranges and many other fruits. On this hot, muggy day, we had the chance to visit Sardis and Laodicea and walk among the ruins of the Persians, Greeks, Romans as well as early Christian ... read more
Terrain nearby Sardis
4th Century Christian Church of Sardis
Fr. vanThan reads to us in Sardis from the Book of Revelation

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale June 26th 2015

A journey of 120 miles, up into & over the Taurus mountains. Again, vast expanses of mountains, scrub & trees with the road (a dual carriageway blasted through the mountains) seemingly going on forever. We detoured slightly & stopped off at yet another ancient city, Kibyre. The theatre here is 200 metres long, help 10,000 people who could watch athletics, chariot racing & Russel Crowe look alikes. Then, everything went green once we neared the mountain tops – the change was so dramatic. Very little surface water but obviously lots of springs – it's from here that the Turks are to supply water to Cyprus via an undersea pipeline. As we approached Pamukkale you could see the vast expanse of white...the famous world heritage site. We couldn't find the site but there was another right opposite ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale April 22nd 2015

Today was too much travel. We were up at 6 and on the road by 7 ish. We traveled 620 km thrift to Pumakkale. The country side is simply beautiful...but I'm getting a bit sick of being in a bus to be honest. We could have flown here. None the less stopped for a couple meals. Got some gifts for my sister too. Got to the hotel, very relieved it was a nice big bed and a very clean room. The first thing Kaine did in the room was call for the day spa for massages for us both. What a treat. Off to the thermal pools at the Collasse spa hotel (where we stayed) until my 7pm massage. What an interesting massage, she had sharp nails and it was bare all up top. Dinner time ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale March 20th 2015

To walk in the water from the Pamukkale hot spring is a sweet luxury The first half of this trip I, Ake, spent visiting various ancient sites in the southeast of Turkey. But there was one more thing I wanted to see while being in this part of Turkey and that was Pamukkale. Pamukkale is a place I bypassed when I travelled in Turkey many years ago. Since then I have been thinking about going there many times but haven't found time to until now. It took me twenty years of planning to make it to Pamukkale but finally I have. You might argue that Pamukkale is two sites, not one. The famous one of these two being Pamukkale with its white terraces. The other site, being the less famous one, is Hierapolis which is the ... read more

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