Monday, 30 May 2011

Pamukkale and Heiropolis Turkey

Olympos concluded my south coast of Turkey tour.. I continued east to the city of Antalya, and then made my way inland to Pamukkale.. Another great spot recommended by my great Turkish advisor, Robert from www.bike-turkey.com.  If you've never heard of Pamukkale like me, it is actually one of the most unique places to visit in this country.  But why haven't I heard of these things???  Every country is full of surprises..

Riding into town, this is what I saw, and whipped out the camera!



Looks so much like snow and ice.. but it's not!  It's quite simply loads of calcium that comes from below the earths surface, via 33C degree water (which felt really nice on a cool day).. and deposits itself on the outside, here.


They don't allow you to walk here with shoes on for protection of the deposits.. but I thought it was cool that you can walk on it at all!  It looks so soft and fragile to me.

Once on the surface, I could feel how strong it is, strange yet quite nice, like a massage on the feet.

As I made my way to the top, the rain started kicking in fairly well.  Bummer, I really wanted to spend more time here.. my feet already wet, why not let the rest be too.  Everything seems suddenly very blue....
        

However, the rain got too heavy and crazy to enjoy anything, so both me and my new friend decide to go elsewhere.. 

It's only about 10 in the morning now and I had already intended to stay the night here.  So I went back to get something to eat and by afternoon, the weather came good again.

Let's give this another try!



Ahhhhhh it's like being in a natural day spa.  Still have my warm winter clothes on as it's really chilly in Turkey, while the countries to the north are experiencing warm summer weather..isn't that a bit backwards? Aw well, the warm water was perfect.

So I wander to the top of the Travertine Terraces they call them,  and I see this massive ancient city of ruins there, Heiropolis.  A Greco-Roman city, from here it appears to be the size of any large town..  So when I looked at it at first, I thought it was far too much to walk around all those streets as it's getting so late in the day.

However, my feet led me a little way in and that's all it took.. That need to explore every nook and cranny.


I can't believe I really have this entire city to myself.. My imagination is going wild!!







This is the main street, running north to south right up to the Travertine Terraces (Pamukkale).. They believe the city was founded as a healing center to take advantage of the thermal pools.

These columns and super huge stones are part of the city's entrance called the "Roman Gate".


After climbing the big hill surrounding the city, I just wanted to sit and think and ponder what the heck this place must have been like..


I found this nice spot.. wonder what it is (or was), part of a house, shop, church?  But it was calling me to sit right here.. ;-)





There is not a soul around here!  No complaints, but it's a bit eery as well..  On the other hand, I felt really at home and comfortable which I thought was really strange at the time.







Didn't help that I found my way into a graveyard.



Again, didn't bother much really.  I am the first one to be far too scared to be wandering around a graveyard by myself at dusk..  However, all the lids were off the 1200 tombs and sarcophogi.  So! Since everybody has clearly "moved on".. what's there to worry about! '-)  I now know it's called Necropolis and it's the largest mass graveyard found in Turkey.  Which makes me wonder.. were these healing waters NOT doing their job???

This place just blew me away, as you might gather from the amount of photos I am including here.. After visiting many other sites in the last couple weeks (Delphos, Ephesus, Xanthos, Olympos), this one is really getting to me, and actually feel a bit emotional as I explore.




This is St. Philip, the most important Christian cult building at Heiropolis, as they call it.  Built around the 5th century AD. They used the number 8 as it's base logic, finished by a large wooden dome.  Eight rectangular central rooms surrounded by an additional 32 rooms, all bearing the Christian symbols and most likely the resting place of the Apostle Philip.

It's interesting and seems that I've noticed now that I've visited a few sites, these cities start off being Hellenistic, then Roman and eventually Christian.  But seems to finally "fall" completely at the hands of Mother Earth (Earthquake).. Heiropolis had a couple big earthquakes, but the last one in 1354 brought it down completely..  So who is the most powerful ruler of all!? 



It's really getting late.. I best make my way down the hill, across the deposits of Pamukkale (only way down is to take shoes off and go back the way I came.. another spa opportunity!).




Back at the small hotel, I sit down for a small meal made by the owners wife.  A German man comes over to speak to me, and he remembers seeing me a few days earlier on the coast near Kas, taking photos, and I remember him too as he pulled in with his car to use the same spot to get his photos!  He and wife were fun to talk to, and then I hear an American voice say.. "Hey, I know you!!!"  I turn around and can you believe it was the Professor I met at Delphi Greece???  In one sitting, and proof of just what an incredibly small world it is, there are two people within a couple feet of me whom I've met before - a very long way from this one little hotel in middle Turkey. There are many hotels to choose from in Pamukkale, so how do we all pick the same?  Life.. in general.. amazes me.. ;-)

There you go.. sorry it was so full this time and a complete account of my day from start to finish.. see you next time!

8 comments:

  1. Great pictures, looks like a beautiful place to visit, cool contrasting shot of you in the water, the white/green/blue come out nice. Who's taking pictures of you?
    Ride safe :-)

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  2. Hey George..there you are! Been out motoadventuring? My photographer is a lovely friend I met called 'Mr. Self Timer...' ;-)

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  3. Nice report of a perfect day it seems. Pretty pictures of you as well.

    thx
    Peter

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  4. I'm still here keeping track of your adventures :-) Not much adventuring on my side this year, my Yamaha Tenere is late arriving in the US, now it's supposed to be delivered before the end of August. I'm still planning on going to Nova Scotia this year though. When do you expect to get out of Europe?

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  5. What a fantastic place to see and experience! Coincidentally, I was also wondering if someone else was taking your pics or if you were using "Mr. Self Timer". Those self-portraits are really good at capturing the moment. It's almost as if you do have someone following you around taking candid snaps here and there. I so wish I could afford to take the time to do what you're doing, but I'm quite happy to live vicariously through you at this time. :-) Hope your leg is doing okay now.

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  6. Great post! Amazing pictures Sherri!
    Congratulations again my friend on your one year anniversary of your trip and looking always forward to read about your next adventure!
    Ride safe, P.xxx

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  7. Gosh, I think these are some of your best images yet!

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  8. beautiful blog! & I loved the blog name! enjoy your trips..enjoy your life! :)

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