I squeezed in a whole lot of sites this trip. A product of meticulous planning and a little luck that things would run on time, and a back-up plan if they didn't.
Pamukkale wasn't exactly convenient to anything. It took four separate buses to get there from Fethiye. The long-distance bus to Denizli was a run-down oil burning old monster with hard bench seats, and it stopped along the road every few miles to pick up locals and refill the oil. It was four very long hours. But eh, might as well travel like a local for the authentic experience, even if you are gritting your teeth to stubs the whole ride. It made arriving all the more sweet.
Hierapolis is the ruins of a Greek (and later Roman) holy city atop Pamukkale. A spa town, as it was built up upon the hot springs that flow here. Oh, I do love my spa towns. It was decimated by an earthquake several times, and now it's just scattered ruins. I would have spent much more time there, but the trip was timed on transportation and the sun was directly overhead.
It was incredibly hot and dry there. It was probably the most uncomfortable I was the entire trip as far as the heat was concerned. I couldn't suck down water fast enough.
It was a pretty amazing place though. You could see the sewers lining the ancient streets, an enormous crumbling theater, temples, and bath houses.
Plus, me being me, I took a pretty good spill on a gravel hill (oh, flip flops. How you betray me.) and I ended up spending the next few days picking pebbles out of my hands and knees. I saved the camera though! I usually can't go anywhere without one good mishap that ends up with me on my ass.
There was no shade to be found, so we followed the crowds to the Cotton Castles.
This was some really incredible stuff.
Flowing down a hill, terraces of deposited limestone build up convient little wading pools. True, some of these were definitely encouraged to have higher walls than others. A large number of them are off-limits to languish in their natural state.
But lo, the landscape was blindingly white.
You are allowed to walk barefoot across a series of pools, and you can bask in them and cover yourself with the white-gray mud. While the upper pools were packed with a lot of children and families, if you hike a little further down the hill, the crowds thin out and a more meditative trance-like state occurs as you let the water drip down the cliff onto your head and people are just chilling out in the mud.
I wish we had more time there so we could have seen the sun set. The overhead light and the glare was just too much to get really great shots. I resorted to the "spray and pray" technique as it was impossible to even see the camera meter through the viewfinder in that kind of light.
The water did little to cool you down. It was a hot spring, and while you could find areas that I might classify as being pretty-warm springs, it was so dry and hot, the air would dry off almost immediately, leaving white droplets of calcium baked on your skin.
It was such a weird, ghostly landscape.