This was in Pamukkale, Southern Turkey; the name literally is Turkish for “Cotton Castle”.
I mean, look at how incredible the landscape looks through these crummy iPhone photos! Pamukkale Park consists of a series of tavertines and hot springs. The hot springs are said to have beneficial health properties -helping high blood pressure, improve circulation and benefit skin diseases. They precipitate calcium carbonate, initially as a gel-like substance, which then hardens into the snow white tavertines. In order to preserve the natural beauty, and to not hinder new tavartine formation, visitors are not allowed to wear shoes while touring this geological phenomenon.
Ev and I spent two days here in the middle of our Turkey trip. It could easily be seen in one day (that’s actually what a lot of tourists do, overnight buses each way to/from other sites & towns), but we wanted to take our time, relax and soak in the views. We toured the neighboring ruins at Aphrodisias, took a break from kebabs and had Korean food for dinner one night, smoked hookah while watching the sunset, caught our breaths a million times and took a plethora of photos. We stayed at Arkadas Pension, run by the sweetest old lady who made us traditional Turkish breakfasts and fed us welcome tea. The town of Pamukkale really doesn’t have much, since most of their business happens during the day… but Ev and I took full advantage of the handful of restaurants, and got a slice of New York clubbing at their “Soho Fun House”. And by New York clubbing I mean running into two locals at a bass-pounding, neon-flashing bar. It was great, silly fun.
Hierapolis sits on the top of Pamukkale -this town was a Greek spa town, created for the ancient wealthy, and later abandoned in the 14th century. For the same ticket you can climb all the way to the top, and tour these ruins as well. I definitely regret not being able to spend more time in Hierapolis. We wanted to catch the sunset at the tavartines, and ended up racing against the sun through the ruins.
We were so close to scratching Pamukkale from our itinerary… it can be a pain to get to (flying to Denizli and then taking a dolmus shared van, or riding overnight on an 11 hour bus ride) and isn’t really close to a lot of other site geographically. But it was so so worth it! The nature Turkey has to offer is surreal & unfathomably beautiful.