Pamukkale's incredible limestone terraces!

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
Trip End Mar 28, 2011

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Flag of Turkey  , Denizli,
Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 11 (afternoon)

Temperature:   18 degrees
Weather:  Sunny with cloudy periods

I couldn't take my eyes off the huge mountain all white in color as it shone amazingly under the sun’s bright rays.  I later found out why the city was called Pamukkale!  It was because in Turkish, it meant “Cotton Castle!”

The city had earned the “Cotton Castle” name because of the way the mountain looked.  Incredibly, this natural phenomenon of dazzling white travertine terraces were formed when the water from the hot springs lost its carbon dioxide when flowing down the slopes leaving behind deposits of limestone.  That the layers of these white calcium carbonate, over time, built up in steps on the plateau.  Interesting facts!

This amazing mountain being one of the most important highlights in Turkey is also unique in the world!  You had to see it to believe it!   Due to this mountain’s incredible beauty, I now understood why an ancient Greco-Roman city called Hierapolis was built right next to it and why the whole area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site! 

We followed Daghan up a hill in which he then pointed in three directions while telling us the areas to explore on our own.  We were given an hour and a half to do so…..not very much in my opinion because it meant… time to loose! 

On your set, get set..... go…..Michel and I went in the direction of Pamukkale’s spectacular white travertine terraces.  To protect these from damage and staining, we had to take off our shoes, socks and walk barefoot on them.  Fortunately, the weather wasn’t that cold, some people were even swimming in the deeper ends of them.  No thanks!

Hiking boots off, socks off and pants lifted as high as I could….it was hard due to these being tight skinny jeans….I was the first one in the water enjoying the warmth of it.  However that wasn’t the case for Michel.  You see, by missing a step, he landed feet first in the thermal water wetting in the process his leg, hiking boot and sock!  “That will teach you to try to be faster than me” I laughingly told him! 

The water was quite warm and it felt goooood!   It was a bit slippery though to walk on the travertine surfaces and one had to be careful not to fall over the edges but by taking my time and advancing prudently, I was able to descend several terraces. 

This unique experience was quite thrilling in which the views from below and above me were quite amazing!  Unfortunately as much as I would have liked to descend even further, due to our limited time here, Michel and I had to rush if we wanted to visit the two other sites, these being quite a distance away!

Therefore with no time to loose, forty-five minutes later, socks back on, hiking boots all tied up, Michel and I were off and running towards our next site to explore!  As for his wet sock, he never bothered putting it back on but didn’t have any choice for his boot!  His little toes must have been freezing!

Monique   :-)   

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