Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 Pamukkale

Today we came to be in Pamukkale, the place of the calcium falls and Hierapolis. We arrived in Pamukkale sometime around 10 or 11 in the morning, so the first thing we did was to find a place for lunch. Pamukkale is a really small town and maybe it wasn’t tourist season or something because the town was really quiet. We grabbed some lunch, and then we met back at the hotel to have a bit of a discussion about Hierapolis, the ancient town up ahead after the calcium falls, and some of us also swam in the pool of the hotel.

Here’s some information about Hierapolis. I think the translation of it is something along the lines of “sacred place;” there are many temples and it is also geothermal place—hot springs were thought to have healing properties. Within Hierapolis there is also apparently a huge necropolis (cemetery) and interestingly enough there’s also the legend of a poison cave. This cave is a little interesting because it apparently was the cause of the start of a cult where people would go in and if they came out alive there would be a huge hullabaloo. I think this was Pluto’s cave—within Hierapolis, Apollo and Artemis were worshipped and Pluto was feared. There isn’t much remaining of the Greek city, a combination of Seljuks, Crusaders, Seljuks again, then Mongols, and then finally an earthquake equaled the inability of the city to recover and people pretty much abandoned the city.

Before getting up to Hierapolis, you have to walk up the calcium falls. You aren’t allowed to go up these falls with shoes so it was great for the feet. There’s not much chance of slipping down these falls because there are lots of creases up in the calcium itself even when the water’s flowing really fast. And it’s beautiful. I hope I will be able to go back there and walk up the falls again.

When you get to the top, there’s a museum on your right and straight ahead of you there’s a pool. This pool is really interesting and very cool—it’s 37°C, fizzy, and contains some ancient Roman ruins because it used to be a Roman bath. Meaning if you have goggles and you’re swimming around under there, you can see the columns and swim around underneath or over the columns. The water is nice and warm so it’s great for working out the kinks in your back and just wonderful for relaxing. One warning though—the water tastes weird.

After swimming and joking around in the water, we got out and walked up to Hierapolis and walked around the ancient city. I enjoyed walking around Hierapolis more than I did Troy and Pergamum despite the fact that it’s not really all that different than either of the two—rocks and walls is all, but because we were sans tour guide, we were happy. And the view was also wonderful. Once again, we were up in Hierapolis right around sunset time, and we were also in the theater of the place again, so we walked up and down that and watched the beautiful sunset and took awesome pictures.

The next day I went up to the top of the falls again and took pictures. When I got back down, we had breakfast and then got on the bus to go Egirdir.

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