Pamukkale - Turkey
We drove down the highway towards Pamukkale and in the distance was this white lava looking blot on the landscape which got larger and more distinctive as you got closer to the city. There in front of us was Rotorua equivalent to the pink and white terraces in all their glory.What a sight!
Deriving from a spring in cliffs almost 200m high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created at Pamukkale an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins in white and vivid blue colours. The temperature of this water ranged from bitterly cold to very hot, depending on the pool you stepped into.It was a very unreal experience wandering around the whole area.
You can walk from the top to the bottom of the terraces and then swim in the thermal pools or visit the little town of Pamukkale. Back in the 2nd century B.C. the thermal spa of Hierapolis was established. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can still be seen. Up the hill from the pools is the great Hierapolis Roman theatre which was restored by the Italians in 1972, was capable of seating 12,000 spectators. Magnificent structure, as good as anywhere else in the world. I found the best of both worlds in this area, walking around the terraces on solid ground and then driving to the top of the surrounding hills and enjoying a magnificent paragliding ride to the fields below Pamukkale. What adrenalin rushing experience and just the best possible way of viewing the formation of this blot on the landscape seen from miles away.
That evening in Pamukkale we were very fortunate to see a show by the Whirling Dervishes. A show famous for the practice of ‘whirling’. This ceremony is a Sufi ceremony which includes singing, playing instruments and whirling dancing. The dervishes wear in white gowns, wide black cloaks and tall brown hats. The dance is performed by spinning on the Left foot while rotating forward and around in a circle.
A whirlwind tour of Pamukkale and another Bucket List place ticked off and put back to the bottom to do again another time.