Saturday, September 01, 2007

Pamukkale -- Hierapolis

Even though I lived in Turkey for years, it was during my visit this summer that I first visited Pamukkale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are some Greek/Roman ruins (Hierapolis) to see here as people since antiquity have enjoyed and worshiped at this natural phenomenon. As our time was short, I did not get to explore the remains of Hierapolis, but hope to do so next time.

The biggest attraction here, however, are the white mineral covered hills and the natural thermal baths. The area's Turkish name, Pamukkale, translates at Cotton Castle, and indeed when you look at the white limestone covered hills, it's easy to imagine that you're looking at a very large castle made out of fluffy cotton balls.

My picture is not the best of the limestone hills, but if you follow the links at the bottom, you'll find some truly spectacular pictures.

Swimming in this thermal pool, on top of ancient fallen columns and porticoes, was something I'll never forget. The water was so warm and buoyant, with little bubbles rising constantly to the surface. And it was neat to imagine people 2,000 years ago enjoying the warmth and healing benefits of these same waters.

To find out more about the natural wonders of Pamukkale, visit these sites:
Pamukkale at Wikipedia
Pamukkale at

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