Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cotton Castle - Pamukkale, Turkey

Traventines terraces cascading down the cliff
They say a trip to Turkey will not be complete without a visit to Pamukkale. Listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, Pamukkale, which means Cotton Castle in Turkish is a natural wonder. The minerals in the water forms deposits of travertine and terraces site resembling like snow. The water has a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius all through out the year and since the Roman time it is claimed to have therapeutic qualities to treat several ailments.
The natural pool

We did a day trip from Bodrum. The journey from Bodrum to Pamukkale took about three hours and it was about noon by the time we arrived. We had lunch at the nearby restaurant. The cotton castle was visible from a distance and some said it could be seen as far as 20km away. Our guide Mehmet did his usual routine of briefing tourists on what we need to know about Pamukkale and after that we were allowed to roam the place on our own. We started with Hierapolis which is part of the site and left Pamukkale towards the end so that we have more time marveling at this humongous white rocks.

There were many people at the site and everyone was trying to squeeze themselves to walk on the travetines. You have to walk with bare feet, shoes are forbidden and if you are seen with any kind of footwear, the officers will blow their whistles and you'll be asked to remove them. Some parts of the stones are rough and sharp but still walking through it, is a wonderful experience. I didn't walk far enough  to cut my feet but just to have a feel of it.

To avoid the crowd, I took a walk on the other part of Pamukkale where the formation of the limestone is still new and no one is allowed to walk on it. At a point where I was trying to cross-over a place, the security asked me to step on the grass field but surely not the stone! There are security guards at every corner of Pamukkale but I found a secluded place to dip my feet deep into the stream of hot spring and that was blissfully heaven!     
Beautiful white limestone - not as soft as it look

The water is saturated with calcium carbonate minerals
The natural hot spring flows through, forming the calcium deposits overtime
Hanging limestone travertines

Visible sulphur in the rock formation

No comments:

Post a Comment