Location: Pamukkale, Turkey
Our bus reached Pamukkale town around 6:30am. Fortunately, our hotel had a free twin room and we were allowed to check in ahead of the official timing.
We went for breakfast–half knowing that this probably wasn’t covered in our hotel charges–and ate loads of carbs to give us energy for the day. (Later, the receptionist confronted us about the breakfast. We paid 7 lira each for it.)
Originally on our itinerary, we were supposed to have a free day today and have our tour the next day. I decided that it would be too tiring for us tomorrow to finish our tour at 4pm and hop on the bus to Selçuk 30 minutes afterwards.
So I went out to ask if we could do the tour today instead. I bumped into a person who claimed to be from the travel agency–I found out much later that he wasn’t–who said we could do the tour earlier.
The man also creepily asked me to sit in an empty shop to “chat”. I gave an excuse that I need to bring the Wi-Fi password to mom so I could not stay even for 1 minute.
Later during pick up time, we were approved by the real tour company people to go on the tour today.
I’ll just skip the first two sights that we visited, although they are quite amazing on their own.
First we saw the red hot spring source. The water had a lot of iron in it so the mineral would deposit on the sand and leave red marks. The water did taste like blood, as the tour guide said, due to the iron inside.
Then it was Heriapolis where we saw about 2km of stone coffins, tombs and mausoleums. We also saw the ruins of the city itself, with plenty of columns around.
I was disappointed when the tour guide told me that there were no ghost stories about the necropolis that we were walking through. I want ghost stories, please!
Visiting the Cotton Castle
The highlight of this tour was the Pamukkale terraces. The hot spring water that had much calcium in it would deposit the mineral and leave the side of the mountain looking like it was covered in snow
Pamukkale’s name is Turkish means Cotton Castle, which I think is a really cute name. Cotton Candy Castle will make it even sweeter.
Since we had 2 hours of free time, I took the opportunity to bath in one of the hot springs pool. Entrance fee was 32 lira, a little steep but I felt that it was worth it since I did not have to be in the sun. I hide in one of the shades of the flowers.
* If you want to swim in Pamukkale for free, do it in the terraces where the calcium deposits are.
The walk down from the hill top was treacherous. Mom and I had to take off our shoes so we don’t spoil the pristine white surfaces.
Water kept flowing and parts of the ground was slippery or filled with water that passes an adult’s knees. Luckily, we made it in the end without any major catastrophes. A minor bump during our walk down was when one of my shoes fell into the water.
Later in the evening, I went with the hotel shuttle bus to watch sunset on top of a mountain. There, I managed to slip on a little slope and hurt only some small parts of my hands.