Pamukkale Means Cotton Castle
It took for 8 hours journey brought me to Pamukkale after fantastic trips in Cappadocia. I arrived at 3 o’clock in the morning at Pamukkale’s bus station and I was half awake when I stepped my feet out of the bus. One man, same as when I arrived in Cappadocia, was there, hold a paper with my name and several names of other travelers on it. After he found all of us, we headed to the hotel where we would get rest for couple of hours before starting our trips in Pamukkale.
We arrived at the hotel, and many people from different tour group were there too. I met Yuan there with Indian couple, looked like they had got known each other. Apparently, it was not all of us got the room to get rest. Yuan, for example, she told me when I had breakfast with her in the morning that her tour package was not including hotel room in Pamukkale. yet, the Indian couple got triple room for themselves and they asked Yuan to join them. Well, I must thank again to Umut that made perfect arrangement for my trips.
Our trip was started at 8 am. Again, Yuan and I must be separated to different tour group. I joined Elizabeth, an American girl who worked in Aceh during post tsunami reconstruction process (we spent almost the whole morning to discuss projects done by organization that is well known from the American people). There were two ladies from Japan, they are mother and daughter and some girls that I couldn’t remember. Our tour guide was Byrol, a hyperactive male in his early twenties, that kept talking during our tour.
The hot spring was our first stop. There were not so many things to see except some people tried to put their feet inside the pools and enjoy the warmth of the water coming from the spring. The water is believed that could cure some skin diseases. The pool was not so big and it was purposed to public users, where the locals could freely enter anytime.
Pamukkale was our main purpose on that day. It was an ancient city in Denizli Province, the part of Anatolia, Turkey. To see the whole ancient city, we were required to walk for two miles. But don’t worry if you don’t really like walking since the land was quite plain, but the weather in the middle of September was still quite hot. So, don’t forget to wear the hat or use umbrella if you plan to come during this time.
“Welcome to Necropolis,” Byrol said once we entered the ancient city. Necropolis means the city of dead people, or a large land purposed to grave yard with tombs and monuments from the ancient Roman periods. Byrol explained the histories for every tomb we passed and gave us some minutes to watch them or take some photos of them. A long time ago, in Roman periods, the tombs were only purposed for the rich people. When people were dying, they would go to the hospital for medication, thus, once they knew that they couldn’t be cured or lived longer, they would reserve one place in one of the tomb. When they died, their families and friends would carry their dead bodies to Necropolis, put them into the tombs and laid their bodies on the big rock tables. There were two levels and six rocks for every tomb. The tombs would be closed for the whole year and waited for the next years to replace the skeleton while other dead bodies queuing to be put into the tombs. Well, there were some tombs purposed to ordinary people too. Byrol showed us the Gladiators’ tombs at one of square land. When gladiators fought at the amphitheater, the died ones were brought here to be rested for good.
The next gate we passed was Hierapolis, the ancient city. In the past, before entering the gate, people should clean and wash themselves in one place called Basilica bath. There were not so many ruins, but we could find some important ruins, amphitheater is one of samples. Byrol took me alone to this amphitheater while other travelers enjoyed swimming in the pool of Cleopatra, that I’ll explain in the next paragraph.
The last stop was Pamukkale Spring water which was due to preternatural landscape of bizarre forms created by calcite deposits from the hot springs that surface through a fault: mineral forests, petrified cascades and terraced pools. The ruins of castle are standing on the top of the hill where if you see it from the far, it looked like castle standing surrounded by cottons shaped rocks. That’s where the name of Pamukkale came from, which is meant the Cotton castle. Mineral water flowing from springs created the pools and terraces which are incredibly stunning. The water was believed that could cure some disease. Even, it was also believed that Cleopatra kept bathing in this pool to keep her youth and beauty.
As our tour in Cappadocia, lunch at special Turkish restaurant was also including in our tour service. I sat at the same table with Yuan. Having a talkative Byrol that was almost never stop talking during the tour was like having a gift while I heard Yuan complained about how their group had been abandoned by their tour guide who was busy flirting some girls in their tour group.