Sunday, March 19, 2023

Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour, Türkiye

On Wednesday we had a tour to Pamukkale and Hierapolis.  It's still a couple of weeks before the tourist season really starts so we got lucky that our group tour ended up just being the two of us so we basically had a private tour.

We were met by our guide Umut and our driver Ali who drove us, from Kuşadasi, on the 200 km (125 miles) to Pamukkale which took about 2,5 hours.

Pamukkale, in southwestern Türkiye, means "cotton castle" and it is famous for the carbonate mineral residue from thermal springs which at a distance looks like snow covered mountains.

The Ancient Greek city of Hierapolis was founded in 2nd century BC.  In 133 BC, Hierapolis became part of the Roman Empire but it and it was destroyed by an earthquake in 17 AD.  The Apostle Philip lived the last years of his life here and he was crucified here in 80 AD.  

There are lots of Greek ruins, a necropolis, theatre, temples, and a museum that are all easy to explore by walking around.

In 1988, Hierapolis and Pamukkale was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are 17 hot springs in the area and they range in temperature from 35℃ to 100℃ (95℉ - 212℉).  The most famous one is Cleopatra's Pool.  It's said that the waters have curative properties and you get to swim around ancient ruins.  

I'm still not sure why it's called Cleopatra's pool because she never swam here.  The plan was originally to go swimming but Kája was fighting a bit of a cold so we decided to skip the swim here.  Although we did wade out a bit in one of the springs overlooking the valley.

The big draw here is still the travertine terrace formations formed from mineral-rich waters cascading down the mountain side for hundreds of years.

Here's a Rick Steves video I found out on YouTube.

©Rick Steves

One of the cool things to do here is go paragliding.  I am still not a fan of heights but for some reason I had it in my head that I needed to do it.  I have no idea why but I did it.  It was brilliant!!

It was a tandem run and my pilot Gökhan was great.  Here's a bit of the video he took with my iPhone.

Me and Gökhan

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