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I think that the “Cotton Castle” of Pamukkale is one of the most unique and beautiful sites in the world.  From a distance it looks like a snow covered mountain, but as you approach, you see that there are little pools and waterfalls cascading down the side of the mountain.  Then as you get even closer and touch the “snow” , you realize that it is actually rock.  The white rock coating is actually made of travertine (calcium carbonate) deposits that are left behind as the natural hot springs flow over the mountain.  The site has been visited for thousands of years and there are even ruins of an ancient Greek city called Hieropolis at the top.  Besides being beautiful to look at, the park at Pamukkale is really fun to explore and play in.  You have to take off your shoes so you don’t damage the travertine, but then you can swim and splash around in the different rivers and pools that flow down the mountain.

We spent a nice morning and afternoon playing around in the pools, and then walked five minutes back to our car at our hotel.  We had a long drive to Konya, the the religious heart of Turkey, the home of the famous poet and mystic Rumi, and the home of the famous whirling dervishes.  But before we could get there, we had to drive eight hours through mountains and countryside.  We decided to skip lunch in order to get there before dark but then we got completely and utterly lost.  We found ourselves in the middle of a crowded market in a small village in rural Turkey.  We surrounded by small alleys, mooing cows, assorted produce stalls, and endless people.  And nobody spoke any English.

Finally we worked our way out of the most crowded part and pulled over.  We used our phrase book to put together a broken sentence that we hoped we could use to ask how to get to Samut, the nearest village from our directions that we recognized.  We spotted a man in a suit and figured he most know his way around.  We used out sentence to ask for directions and seemed to understand.  He waved down two sweater-vest clad old men on a motorbike and they indicated for us to follow them.  So we jumped in our car and they guided us through the twists and turns of the village!  As we reached the edge of the village, the two guys and a small crowd that had gathered were laughing and waving goodbye.  Then a lady in traditional Turkish attire and only one tooth, jumped in the back of the car!  She gestured for us to keep driving so we took her to the top of the hill.  Then, in Turkish, she offered for us to go to her house for some tea.  We politely declined and continues on our way.

The small hill that we had climbed turned into a winding mountain road and we were rapidly running out of gas.  We passed a few mountain villages but none of them had fuel.  Eventually, with nothing but fumes in the tank, we crested the mountain and rolled into a gas station on the other side.  They brought us some tea while we pumped the gas, and when we went inside to buy snacks, they gave me a free box of tissues.  Eventually we made it to our hotel in Konya where we finally were able to eat at a big buffet dinner.  The next morning we went to see the Melvana (the famous tomb of Rumi) but it was closed.  Only later did we find out that we were at another building with the same name.

  • Foot in the Travertine
  • Amanda Climbing a Travertine
  • Adam's Travertine Throne
  • Amanda in a Travertine Pool
  • Adam in a Travertine Pool
  • Amanda at Pamukkale
  • Gazing up the Travertines
  • Flowing Travertines
  • Adam at a Big Travertine Pool
  • Adam at a Big Travertine Pool
  • Adam Washing Hair
  • Milky White River at Pamukkale
  • Travertine Pools at Pamukkale
  • Travertine Pools at Pamukkale
  • Amanda at Pamukkale
  • Some Weird Dude Posing in a Speedo
  • Happy Amanda at Pamukkale
  • Happy Amanda at Pamukkale
  • The Brills at Pamukkale
  • Hair Flips at Pamukkale
  • Happy Amanda at Pamukkale
  • ???
  • Crazy Hair
  • Amanda in a Travertine Field

Posted: December 6, 2012

Author: Adam and Amanda

Category: Blog, Continents, Middle East, Turkey


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