Day 07 - Day Trip to Pamukkale

Pamukkale Travel Blog

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There were over 1200 persons buried to the north of the ruins.

Pamukkale was one of the “must see” items on our to-do list in Turkey.  How we were to see it though, we’d not decided.  Originally, we’d planned on making Denizli (the nearest town to Pamukkale) the next stop on our itinerary but since arriving in Selcuk, we’d learnt it could be done as a day trip from here.   We’d been made to feel very welcome at the ANZ guesthouse and couldn’t be bothered packing up all our stuff and moving again just yet, so we decided to go with the day trip option.

The coach picked us up from the hostel at 9am and we settled in for the 3 hour ride in the minibus.

Rebuilt a number of times, these ruins started as roman baths, then became a basilica and finally a church
  Nothing remarkable about the trip there, nor the free lunch they served just prior to our arrival.  Whilst the “all inclusive” package that had been arranged for us was convenient, we were starting to think that had we made the arrangements independently, we’d have saved ourselves a few pennies, a bit of time and we’d have chosen to eat somewhere less akin to a tourist feeder through. 

The guide decided to take us into the site via the north entrance which meant walking through the ruins before seeing the “Cotton Castle” of Pamukkale.  Whilst the ruins at this site were from a some era as those from Ephesus, they were predominantly stone (rather than marble) so in some regards, were far less spectacular.

Well restored section of pillars near the agora
  However, the roman baths on the site, which had been restored but then partially destroyed in a subsequent earthquake, are huge.  The stone blocks used were enormous and I’ll admit that whilst simple of design, I found it far more impressive.

Pamukkale, the smooth, white formation on the mountainside created by the flow of calcified water was a bit of a disappointment.  A number of hotels were built on the site, just above the formations but whilst they have since been destroyed, the damage they caused (such as the redirection of the water flow and creation of loads of man made pools) has not been fixed.  Whilst there is no longer any water flowing to most of the site, the calcified white formations still remain so unfortunately, the site only gave me a sick impression of the environment vandalism carried out on the area – it is left to the imagination of the visitor to try and guess how truly impressive this natural wonder might have been before we stuffed it up.

Can you see the snow capped mountains in the background?
  The only area where there is a significant water flow (and where tourists are permitted to walk and swim) is one where is it obvious that man has intervened, creating a serious of large swimming pools down one face of the mountain.  Despite all the damage to the area, it is still a great site and well worth the trip inland. 

Like the drive out to Pamukkale, the return trip was uneventful and whilst we were quite tired from our day of travelling, we headed out for a bite to eat anyway.  Armed with a tourist map of the town we went in search of the municipal pool, which strangely, has a restaurant associated with it.  Just when we thought we were well lost and we’d have to resort to grabbing a kebab at a street vendor, we stumbled across the place.   This place is well renowed for cheap, quality food – as is said to be a favourite haunt for the locals.  However, when we arrived, we were the only people in the place and the menu they handed us was in Turkish. Great .. the one time I forgot to bring the phrase book with me!!  Taking the menus to the food counter, with the help of the waiter and loads of pointing, nodding and waving we were able to decipher few items on the menu and order dinner.  Like most of our meals on this trip so far, it was good food at a good price.

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There were over 1200 persons burie…
There were over 1200 persons buri…
Rebuilt a number of times, these r…
Rebuilt a number of times, these …
Well restored section of pillars n…
Well restored section of pillars …
Can you see the snow capped mounta…
Can you see the snow capped mount…
No water in the pools in the foreg…
No water in the pools in the fore…
You can see from the texture of th…
You can see from the texture of t…
A bit too cold for a dip but we we…
A bit too cold for a dip but we w…
Pamukkale
photo by: EmyG