Better late than never.
Trip Start Apr 12, 2013
27Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
Ozturk White Hill Hotel Pamukkale
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
So, we got into Kusaidassi in the late afternoon of the 18th so not mush time for mooching around.
The main reason for being in Kusaidassi is the ancient city and world heritage site of Efes or Ephesus.
"The best preserved classical city in the Mediterranean, if not all of Europe" Once the capital of the Roman province of Asia minor and at its height had 250,000 inhabitants. Only 18% of the site has been uncovered and preserved.
The city was a port and the centre of worship for the Goddess Artemis and had the largest temple in Asia built in her honour
Fought over and occupied many times it's visitors included Alexander the Great and the Roman Emperor Hadrian (that bloke who built that wall....) the city was moved several times due to the harbour silting up which ultimately led to its abandonment along with the decline of the Roman Empire.
On entering, Spike was offered a guide, he turned the guy down.
"No thank you my good man, I'm a professor of classics at Oxford, these are my students!!" classic!
We wandered around the ruins marvelling at the sheer scale and grandeur of the city, its baths, archways and amphitheatres, the main one was truly stunning and had great acoustics, we were treated to an impromptu concert from some Japanese ladies!
Some of the group pretended to be statues! Spike gave me a crash course in Ancient Greek by pointing out the gents!!
The stand out feature for me was the library, the detail and size of the thing was truly awesome
It was market day in town and a wander through it was an assault on the senses and the ears with the stall owners all competing for our business.
That evening we had a great meal cooked over the fire in the camp oven, cottage pie!! You really can't beat a campfire, good company and a few beers! The group also managed to 'liberate' a large supply of fire wood to stock up Calypso's rear end! The campsite was great, solar showers and washing machines, although doing the laundry on 'holiday' is a bit annoying! (any chance I send any home??)
We were up early for the drive to Pamukkale and another world heritage site, Hierapolis.
Not a long drive day, we stopped off for lunch on the hill side below Hierapolis, beautiful scenery!
Hierapolis was founded around 190BC as a spa and healing centre but really prospered under the Romans and Byzantines. The reason for this is the Travertine's, mineral water pours out of the mountains and forms calcified pools of water at a balmy 36 degrees!! A series of hand cut pools lines the path on the way up to the ruins. You have to remove you shoes, not doing so gets you blasted by the guards whistles!
The white surface is rough and perfect for taking the dead skin off you feet! it looks slippery but the grip is excellent! The water is soothing and it's easy to see why it was a spa town
Reaching the top is like stepping into and oasis, with shady trees and short clipped grass.
We had a look inside the antique pool, where swimmers relax amongst the ancient columns strewn across the bottom. At 32 Lira for a swim and a time limit of two hours to get around we really couldn't stretch to a dip!
The area was prone to earthquakes which eventually led to its abandonment in 1334 but the pools and ruins are a massive tourist draw and the major source of income for Pamukkale, still a sleepy village despite the massive tourist numbers.
On reaching the bottom we met Theresa who had bad news for us........"sorry guys, no campsite tonight, it's closed but....." there's always a but. "we've managed to get a hotel cheaper, hope you don't mind"
To say that she struck gold is an understatement! The hotel was down a quiet little side street, it had a vine covered courtyard, swimming pool and a roof terrace and we had the run of the place, SCORE!!
Excellent and the veiw from the roof was stunning, at night it was even better
A veggie curry for dinner, expertly cooked by Kelly then out for a few beers at a cafe, well it was Saturday night! Efes beer, happy chatter and a shisha pipe for some made for a good evening. We were also reunited with Warren who had spent two nights sleeping on night buses to and from Istanbul to collect his Uzbekistahn visa. If any man was in need of food, a shower and a bed it was Warren, but first a beer!! He was delighted to find we were in the Hotel and not camping.
Todays activities, Mud baths, hot springs and para gliding.......Para gliding for me and Mrs B!! (sorry Trevor...) The group was split between the activities with the most adreneline thirsty opting for gliding.
I'll put some pics and a video (when I edit it) and the full story when i finish writing it, a great time was had by all!
The hotel owners cooked us a wonderful meal, although the evening was a bit reserved as we were off on the road again in the morning, a big drive day planned.
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