The snow white wonders of Pamukkale.

K and I reached Selçuk around 7pm, after a ten hour bus ride from Istanbul. Despite our initial concerns, the bus ride was an actually rather pleasant. We had been upgraded to a business class style bus, ran by Metro bus lines, where we had TV screens on the back of the seats and free snacks and drinks. The seats themselves were much bigger than normal, making the trip a breeze. We likened it to a lazy movie day, because we literally sat down and watched movies the entire time. It was a nice break from the fast paced travelling I had been doing with B the week previous.

Our home for the next few nights was the Boomerang Hostel, which was as Australian as the name. The owner was an Australian/Turkish guy who welcomed us warmly and not unlike the reception you would receive back home. We were booked into an 18 bed mixed dorm and had to laugh when we were taken to the large room. 18 single beds set out exactly like you’d find at your grandparents house. Down to the random figurines and crocheted blankets. It was pretty adorable. We had a quick wander down the streets of Selçuk and found some dinner at a family run restaurant. Heading back to the hostel to chill out before bed, we were surprised but the amount of Aussie accents we were hearing. Boomerang Hostel has a great outdoor area, with a relaxed vibe and soon we made friends with other Aussies all here to explore Turkey. It was nice to hear so many familiar accents, after going so long in a country where nobody understands what a ‘ranga’ is.

The following morning we were up and ready to leave at 8:30am for the three hour bus journey to Pamukkale. This place was another Pinterest discovery and I was eager to see this strange phenomenon. Pamukkale, which is Turkish for ‘cotton castle’ is a city which is famous for its snowy white hot springs. The ancient city of Hierapolis sits on top of the ‘travertines’, which are the terraces of carbonated minerals, left by flowing water.

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Pamukkale had been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means some places were forbidden to walk on, but there was still plenty of this unusual sight to see.

Snow white terraces of Pamukkale
Snow white terraces of Pamukkale

K and I were told by our travel agent guy back in Istanbul that we shouldn’t bother taking our swimmers because you can’t swim there. Well, Mr Istanbul was wrong – there were so many people swimming! A little bummed, we waded in the clay bottomed water, enjoying the mushy, healing power of the limestone. It was ridiculously hot today and the water wasn’t terribly cold due to being a hot springs, so we didn’t miss out on too much. Though I do recommend taking swimmers as it is the ultimate relaxation.

Travertines of carbonated minerals make up the landscape of Pamukkale
Travertines of carbonated minerals make up the landscape of Pamukkale
Unusual and alluring.
Unusual and alluring.

We played in the white wonderland for a couple of hours before taking refuge in the shade of the many trees lining the edge of the travertines. Paying an exorbitant amount for an iced tea and water, we watched the hundreds of tourists wallow in the water and soak up the limestone-y goodness.

Peace at Pamukkale
Peace at Pamukkale
Pamukkale, so pretty.
Pamukkale, so pretty.

Around 3pm we headed back to the bus to be taken back to Selçuk. Surprisingly worn out from the long bus journey and the heat, we headed in early to catch some Z’s.

Tomorrow brings the ancient city of Ephesus and the Temple of Artemis.

J. x

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