Crete Pilgrimage 2016 - Day 16

Turkey - Pamukkale


We were picked up from the hotel and driven around the back streets of Kusadasi as a short cut to reach the road to the east. We followed the main highway east for some time, passing large fields of agroculture, fruit trees and lots of strawberries. We also passed several small geothermla power stations that looked remarkably the same as those in New Zealand (thanks to New Zealand engineers). Finally we arrived at the ancient Roman city of Laodicea, where excavation has only just begun. We walked around the site then headed north to the extensive white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, where hot water flows down aross the terraces. From there we were dropped at our hotel for an afternoon swim and an early night.

The road to Laodicea

The main highway runs due east from Kusadasi along the valley of a major river. The valley floor is flat and heavily cultivated due to the rich river silt and the abundance of water. Immediately above the floor of the valley the cultivation stops abruptly to give way to brown, barren hills.

The first geothermal power station
Strawberries under plastic
Pots for all occasions
Above the valley floor the hills are rough and dry
Geothermal steam, not oil.
Fuel, not steam. TRY3.70 = $NZ1.45

The Ancient City of Laodicea

Laodicea was once a major Roman city, founded in 261BC. It grew with wealth from the surrounding region. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 60BC but was rebuilt. It was eventually destroyed by the Mongols after 1230AD.

Roman road paved with marble
A lot of the building blocks are soft travertine
This is fine marble
Marble column
Travertine column.
Gneiss column. Much harder to work, so a more expensive column.
There were many of these lizards, but they were mostly too fast to photograph.
According to the scholars, there are backgammon boards.
Neat piles of broken stones were everywhere
And in the distance our next stop - the travertine terrace at Pamukkale

The travertine terrace at Pamukkale

Over the centuries a hot spring has flowed and deposited a broad terrace ofwhite travertine, running down the hillside. It is a spectacular sight and a major tourist attraction. In Roman times the city of Hieropolis was built at the top of the terrace to take advantage of he hot water. Today there are swimming baths amongst the Roman ruins. A range of hotels were built on the top of the terrace but when Turkey wanted UNESCO World Heritage status for the site, the hotels had to go. Today they are close by at the foot of the terrace.

Many tourists and visitors statr at the bottom and walk up a pathway cut into the travertine. We drove to the top and walked around to the active hot water spring. Here you can take oof your shoes and wade into the water. There are officious guards with whistles overlooking the scene to keep everybody in the correct place. After our paddle we bought ice creams and stood in the shade watching the locals. Then back to the car and to our hotel, where they had their own thermal water pool.

The road to Pamukkale
The gardens of the hotels that had been demolished
The amphitheatre at Hieropolis
Walking along the top of the travertine terrace
They manage the water supply, allowing it to cover each part of the terrace in turn.
These pools are dry today - their turn tomorrow
This water can effect miracle cures
Cats own this place also.
"Wet floor" - a bit obvious when you are up to your knees in it!
It was a bit slippery in places
I recognise those feet
On guard - she had a fearsome whistle and could shout
Another wedding
And finally an ice cream

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Last updated: 26/03/2017