Pamukkale, Turkey Day 144

My overnight bus was both better, and worse than I thought it would be. I was seated in the very last seat of the bus, so I couldn’t recline my chair at all. The man in front of me had his ALL the way back, so leg room was limited. I had to go pee pretty well the minute we took off, and the ticket taker guy spoke little English and didn’t understand when I asked when we stopped for bathroom breaks. Then he INSISTED I take the juice he was offering me. I told him I might have to pee in the cup later, but took it anyways. I couldn’t get comfortable, it was too hot and too light plus I had a kid snoring loudly in my ear. Ah, overnight bus, you suck! You get snacks included though, which was a good thing since I didn’t really eat dinner before we left. The bus is dirt cheap, I’ll give it that much, but getting next to no sleep sort of makes that a moot point. The only good thing was that I was woken up at 5:45 to take the free shuttle to Pamukkale. Unfortunately they didn’t properly gauge the number of people that needed a shuttle, so there weren’t enough seats for everyone. People just kept piling in, it was like a freaking clown car! Once we got to Pamukkale we all had to hang out in the bus station for a couple of hours until our hotels opened. I got a ride on a mo-ped (with my bags!) from the bus guy to my hotel and thankfully my room was ready at 8am so I just went in, lay down and slept for 4 hours. Heaven to be horizontal!
The travertines in Pamukkale, Turkey.
The travertines in Pamukkale, Turkey.

These are the travertines of Pamukkale. In Turkish Pamukkale means “cotton castle” which is quite fitting! The white colour is caused by calcium carbonate in the water, and it’s deposited as the waters flows over the landscape. It’s hard to believe that it’s not snow covered peaks when you first see it, but then the sweat starts to run into your eyes and you remember, of yeah, it’s 38 degrees out! This is the only time I’ll mention it in this post, but holy hell it’s hot here. I’ve never been this physically uncomfortable from weather before. I fried my face because I’m sweating so much that the sunscreen is coming right off almost as soon as I’ve put it on. It was sheer will power that kept me going today. I really wanted to fully explore Hierapolis but in the open sun it was a challenge. I did it though, and have the raccoon eyes to prove it!

The travertines in Pamukkale, Turkey.
Hot mineral rich pools.
These are the travertines of Pamukkale.
These are the travertines of Pamukkale.
These are the travertines of Pamukkale.
I love this shot of these kids playing in the mineral stream.
Travertine pools in Pamukkale, Turkey.
Some of the pools have the most beautiful clay on the bottom that people were giving themselves clay masques all over their bodies. (Myself included!)
Travertines in Pamukkale, Turkey.
Only in Turkey would you see a dog at the hot springs.
After I walked to the top of the hill I decided that I would visit the ancient Greek city of Hierapolis before I did the hot springs. The name means “sacred city” and was thought by the ancient people to have been founded by the god Apollo. The reality is that is was Eumenes II, king of Pergamum between 197-159 BC who did the finding… Hierapolis was given up to Rome in 133 BC and later destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD but was rebuilt and reached it’s peak in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
Hierapolis Pamukkale, Turkey.
This is part of the site of the Temple Nymphaeum.
Hierapolis Pamukkale, Turkey.
It was kind of like a junk yard of broken pieces of ancient pillars and bricks.
Hierapolis Pamukkale, Turkey.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
This is the theater of Hierapolis. It was constructed around 200 BC and in its time could hold up to 20,000 spectators. Now only 30 rows of seating remain.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
This is the staircase leading up to The Martyrium of St. Philip.
This is the Martyrium of St. Philip, built in the 5th century AD. It’s considered to be one of the most important Christian cult buildings within Hierapolis. In it’s day there was a crypt in the centre of the eight buildings believed to contain the remains of Philip.  Crosses and other Christian symbols have been carved into the tops of the arches of all of the buildings. There isn’t an alter or a graveyard so it’s thought that is wasn’t used as a church but maybe for special ceremonies. It was a pretty impressive site, and the arches made for a nice bit of shade….
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
I saw these ruins as I was walking down the hill from St. Peters tomb.  I also saw a small burrowing owl and some rather large lizards!
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
This is Frontinus Street. There would have been houses and shops lining the streets in its time.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
This is the Northern Roman Gate.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
And now the tombs… I think I can safely say that this is the oldest cemetery that I’ve ever been to…
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey.
The travertines, Pamukkale, Turkey.
Back to the travertines for a nice sunset dip.
The travertines, Pamukkale, Turkey.
The travertines, Pamukkale, Turkey.
You know it’s hot outside when the 38 degree water feels cool compared to the air.

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