It's Called Pallukamee! (jk)

Trip Start Dec 27, 2010
Trip End Aug 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Melrose Hotel

Flag of Turkey  , Denizli,
Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pamukkale (pronounced pa-mu-ka-ley) is a small town in Western Turkey where we went to see ancient ruins, an ancient hot spring, and a mammoth formation of travertine deposits. We were booked into the Melrose Hotel, which is a beautiful and comfortable little hotel, owned and run by a couple who are so nice and friendly and down-to-earth. They seemed like the perfect people to run a hotel, as they were so kind and helpful, and they made us feel so at home.

After the traditional Turkish breakfast (at least as served in hotels), including pastry cheese rolls, cucumbers, tomatoes, goat cheese, boiled egg, and very strong Turkish tea (served deceptively from a coffee urn and the colour of coffee), we were driven by the hotel owner to the top of the mountain to see the sights.

We first took the walking tour to see the ancient theatre and many other ruins, including an ancient street, which had been a bustling centre of social and commercial activity many centuries ago. It was quite moving to sit in the theatre and to walk along the street, imagining what had gone on right there so very long ago. A great deal of restoration had been undertaken at the site, but there were still many pieces of stone and marble -- many ornately carved -- that lay disconnected on the ground. It is an amazing wealth of history.

Once the obligatory history lesson was over, the kids were excited to go to the hot springs pool. After the disappointment of seeing so many empty pools at various places we had stayed, or pools that were full but too cold to use, the kids were thrilled to be able to swim. In the pool were actually real ancient ruins to swim around -- that was pretty amazing.

After the swim, we walked to the side of the mountain from which the travertine deposits extend. These vast white terraces were created over centuries by deposits in the run-off from the hot springs, and they layer their way down into the town. They were so neat to walk on -- we had to wear sun glasses, as the sun was out and created a “snow-blindness“ effect on the travertine. However, the warm water from the hot springs made the walk down the mountain a very nice temperature.

Three of us were walking back to the hotel, while Mark and Alison were catching the shuttle bus to the Dinizli bus station to pick up yet another important item that had been left on the bus from Marmaris! The couple from the hotel had called and confirmed that the item in question would be there when the bus rolled in at 4 o’clock, so Mark and Alison were going to meet it. They made the connection successfully and got the precious diary!

They were also really fortunate to see the bus attendant from the laptop incident and were able to thank him properly for his help in getting our computer back to us. Mark said a sincere “Thank you” in Turkish and extended his hand to give the young man a tip. The man put his hand to his heart and shook his head. But Mark was determined and reached out and took his hand and put the money in it. The young man was really appreciative and put his hands on Mark‘s shoulders and made a traditional Turkish gesture between men of touching (or not quite touching, as Mark says) cheeks on one side and then the other. Alison thought Mark didn’t look too comfortable with the gesture, but they both agreed that it was so nice to have been able to see that man again and to express our appreciation to him.

One lingering feeling in retrieving the second item from the bus is that things usually happen in threes; so I am wondering what else of ours is still on that bus?

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