The white travertines

Trip Start Sep 07, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Yesterday I went to Ephesus, a city of ruins. I won't describe it all, if you are interested feel free to check out the link. We also went to Mary's house, which is supposed to be the last place that the mother of Jesus lived, and died. It is a pilgrimmage site, but as I am not Catrholic, I think most of the attraction was lost on me.

For dinner, Jason, Becky and I decided to go out for our last night in town. Originally the plan was to go for pide, or Turkisk pizza. But in the end none of use was in the mood for eggs on pizza, so we chickened out and went to a great mezze restaurant. In the morning they were off to Istanbul, and I headed to Pamukkale.

On the 3 hour bus ride, an older Turkisk woman sat beside me. I had a moment of wishing she would sit in one of the other empty seats so I could stretch out and nap. In the end I was glad she didn't though!

About 1/2 hour in to the journey she decided we were going to get to know each other. Except she didn't speak English, and I of course speak np Turkish. Nonetheless, we managed to figure out each other's names, that she is married with kids, was visiting one in Selcuk, and lives in Denizli. I managed to explain that I was from Canada, not married and don't have any kids (which of course was strange to her at my age). She was excited that it was my first time to Turkey, and was happy I'm enjoying it. We even managed to exchange addresses, and she wants me to send her a postcard!

Pamukkale was stunning, I can,t even begin to describe it! It's about 1 km long, covering the side of a small mountain. Calcium rich water pours down from the top, forming white pools, or travertines all the way down. Contrary to what you hear, you are able to walk on it. The main path goes right down the middle. You just aren't allowed to walk all over the whole thing anymore, and sit in all the pools like you used to be able. There is a section at the far end though where you are allowed to take off your shoes and walk all over it, and there were plenty of people lounging in the pools!

Because the water is so warm and calcium rich, it is prone to turning green and red from growth if the water pools too long. So now they have a systeme set up where alternate where the water runs on a given day, in order to keep the travertines white and forming new calcium deposits. Yet again, when you can see the pictures, you get a much better idea!
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