Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Cotton Castle

From Selcuk I journeyed inland to Pamukkale in ancient Caria. Pamukkale means "Cotton Castle" in Turkish. It is home to yet another World Heritage site.

Here's a new word for you all : travertine.

Travertine is a type of stone deposited by hot springs. It's made of calcium carbonate and is similar in some respects to stalactites found in caves. Apparently, it is quarried in some places and used for tiles.

Anyway, Pamukkale has a whole hillside of terraced travertine that is visible from miles around.

I've wanted to visit this place since seeing a poster of it in a kebab shop on Brixton Hill.

I was wary of crowds after my Ephesus experience so I visited the site in the very late afternoon when most of the coach parties had left town.

I walked up a large hill beside the tarvertines, paid admission and entered the restaurant, pool and spa complex at the summit.

Here you can have small fish come and slowly eat you alive. I didn't have enough time so I reluctantly passed.

Once outside the views took over...

I took a couple of close-ups...

Barefoot I walked back down the hill on the travertine itself.
The ridges were a bit spiky but the water was lovely and warm.
Happily, there wasn't an unpleasant smell of sulphur in the air.

Back in Pamukkale village there was one last surprise. A Japanese restaurant! I had miso soup and soba noodles. Very good, too.

The lady who ran the place was happy to chat about Japan and gave me 5 free strawberries and a glass of muggicha (Japanese barley tea).

I watched her two dogs fighting over a lead.

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