Tony & Cynthea Zurich, Turkey, Greece, Mallorca travel blog

Getting close to Pamukkale

Lunch up a tree in Pamukkale with Amanda, Marty, Emma, Beng, Cameron,...



Pamukkale - mineral deposits turn the hillside white

Pamukkale - in hot water



Hierapolis, Pamukkale

Poppy Fields at Pamukkale

Lycus River Hotel - magnesium makes the water brown

Tony in hot water, again... and it was HOT

Casey and Beng


Poppy fields at Pamukkale

Poppy fields at Pamukkale

We are looking forward to today’s destination – Pamukkale (meaning Cotton Castles in Turkish), where the white terraced mineral pools are. We leave the hotel at 8.30, and will be there by lunchtime, with the rest of the day free to do as we please. Burhan tells us that we can swim at the terraced pools for TYL25 ($21) if we want to. However the water in the hotel pools is the same, and we can swim there for free. Many of us feel that it is more about the location, so a group of us want to do that.

We travel into the mountains to about 1000m. There is lots of water around, with some flooding from the storm that we saw yesterday, and fresh snow is on the mountains. At the first piddle stop it is very fresh, and Tony is told he is mad for not wearing shoes. Even though his sandals are wet from yesterday, (nothing dried overnight, and everyone is carrying damp gear), sandals are far easier to get off and on than boots. We plan to be in and out of water in Pamukkale...

Denizli surprises us with its’ size, with half a million people perched on a mountain side in the middle of nowhere. We are close to Pamukkale and high in the mountains, so it is a little cooler here. We stop for lunch in Pamukkale, and most of us end up at the same café where there is a tree house to sit in while we eat. We have a wonderful view of the Cotton Castles, formed by calcium rich mineral water cascading down the mountainside. The sheer size of this natural wonder is a surprise, as it was expected to be a small area. There are ruins here from the roman spa town of Heirapolis.

We are amazed that many years a go a road was built right through the middle of this wonderful site. Thankfully they soon saw the error of their ways, and the road was redirected away. Cascading pools were built along the old road, and now the calcium deposits have turned it white again. The flow of water is well controlled now, with different areas getting a supply of water every other day, so that the stunning site is preserved.

We are able to walk on the terraces as long as we remove our shoes. The water is very warm at about 36 degrees and we spend a lot of time paddling about. We are surprised, and disappointed, that we are not allowed to swim in the terraces, and it is very tempting to just go in. The photos of the area we see in travel brochures are misleading, as we see pictures of people bathing in the hot pools of the terraces (where is Fair Go when you need them?). It turns out that some years ago there were hotels on the site, but they were causing damage and discolouration to the terraces, so the hotels were closed and the buildings removed. The photos are from back then! We are able to swim in the ancient spa for TYL25 ($21), but we don’t bother as we will soon be at the hotel.

The Lycus River Thermal Spa is a beautiful hotel. The room is nice, but we have single beds again. Lots to do for free here, there is a “volcano” spewing really hot water into a thermal pool. The water is muddy brown with magnesium, and it is really hot in the pool, ah bliss! The main outdoor pool is unheated, and very cold by comparison! We spend time between both, and then head indoors to a big spa pool. Some of the girls visit downstairs where they put their feet in a pool of fish that nibble at their feet. There is a charge for the sauna and steam rooms so we don’t bother.

The buffet meal is a good one, with almost too much to choose from. After tea some walk into town, and then there is a room party because the hotel decided not to open the disco room. Burhan persuades the hotel to open the disco but the music is rubbish, so few people stay around.

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