Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pamukkale, Turkey

Ancient Hierapolis is Worth a Visit

Pamukkale, Turkey.
Pamukkale, Turkey is a planned district and second level municipality in Denizli Province, Turkey. It contains famous hot springs, also officially named Pamukkale.

Hierapolis (Ancient Greek: Ἱεράπολις, lit. "Holy City") was an ancient city located on hot springs in classical Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale in Turkey and currently comprise an archaeological museum designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Though I've been there, I didn't take the picture above (I have my own pictures of it on my other site here. Pamukkale is a beautiful spot, well worth going well out of your way for if you ever visit the nearby historic Turkish coast spots such as Ephesus (highly recommended) or Priene/Miletus/Aphrodisias. It is a bit of a ride inland, which is best accomplished by the very efficient and cheap Turkish bus service, perhaps a couple of hours.

The old Roman ruins just over the cliff above the pools pictured are the icing on the cake if you like Roman history. One of the best-preserved colosseums from the ancient world, and also some earlier and very mysterious tombs. It is very much a desert on the plain above, so be prepared to brave the heat.

The hot springs are drinkable - I drank from them - and taste exactly like the Perrier or other bottled waters you receive at fine restaurants. Going swimming in mineral water is an exquisite experience, enhanced by the heat of the surrounding arid wasteland. You can swim in the pools pictured, or at least you could when I went there. Imagine swimming right up to the edge pictured and looking down toward a farming valley a thousand feet or more below - it is a unique experience.

Let me just put in a plug here for anyone who enjoys traveling - at some point in your life, make some time for Turkey. It's not much further than the usual spots in Central Europe, but it will absolutely spell-bind you if you give it half a chance. You can do it by plane, then cruise ship, rail and/or bus, much easier than renting a car if you put in a little planning aforethought.


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