Friday, December 12, 2014

11/25/14 Day 313 Pamukkale or Cotton Castle in Turkish

Our hitch to Denizli From Kayaköy is a flawlessly easy drive where we were showered in candy bars juices, and snacks for the journey (there was not chance to humbly object as each of our two drivers simply pulled the car over and returned with snacks meant for us, these small gestures will not soon be forgotten, about this hospitality driven culture). Arriving to Anil's place we were received with home style cooking that his mother had sent over. He introduced us to some really delicious Turkish Delights and halva, a semolina flour dessert sweetened by cinnamon and accompanied by ice cream from his favorite local place, this dessert may have been my favorite so far, sort of similar to polenta but sweet. Fully fed we bundled up and walked to a local bar serving Efes (like every other bar in the country) in a 2 liter personal tap for the three of us. He won't even allow us to pick up a single beer the whole night, insisting that our money is no good at this bar and sneakily taking care of the check each time. The next day we climb aboard a dolmus that takes us the 15 minutes or so into town where we are dropped off at the bus station for 2.5 Lira and can catch a much longer dolmus for 4.5 more lira taking us all the way to Pamukkale in about an hours time. This Unesco World Heritage Site was created by deposits of the trace carbonate material flowing through the hot springs. The Ancient Greeks built a city at the top where there are significant ruins left today, and once it become a tourist attraction Turkey built a plethora of hot spring hotels rerouting the water flow and damaging chance for renewed build up of carbonate. The travertine waterfalls are beautiful and we get to feel like we are one with them sans shoes and socks. The water flowing to the bottom is frigid but gradually thaws as we force our way to the top where the water is actually steaming warming our toes and ankles. Such a spectacular expanse, it really is a shame that past practice of allowing shoes have caused irreversible damage to the falls which took hundreds of thousands of years to build up in the first place. With the damage done by the water reroutes, and foot traffic, Turkey bulldozed the hotels, and became stringent about visitors entering shoeless, so they are taking steps in he right direction anyways. 


Warming our feet in the hot spring stream
Kevin, myself and Anil our CS host

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