We headed east on our 5th day in Turkey, hopping on a 9:30AM bus from Selcuk that would take us to Pamukkale, a small village in Central Anatolia. We arrived around lunch time, dropped our packs off at the Venus Hotel (check out my Trip Advisor review) and headed out to the main attraction in Pamukkale: the “Cotton Castle”.
Just a few minutes from the main village lies a mountainous formation of calcite travertines, that you can climb or take a break and soak in the mineral-rich terraces. The gleaming white calcite is blinding beautiful, and exploring the many crevices while taking in a panoramic view of the village was a most relaxing way to spend the afternoon.
After climbing up over the travertines, we came upon the archaeological site of Hierapolis. Founded in 190 BC by Eumenes II of Pergamum, Hierapolis prospered under the Byzantines and Romans. Greeks, Romans, Jews, pagans and Christians co-existed in this city for years until an earthquake in 1334 destroyed the city and was promptly abandoned.
Hierapolis was one of my favourite sites to explore on our trip. The grounds were so peaceful and their were hardly any tourists so we could really relax and explore the ruins. Some were impressive like grand theatre below. I sat for an hour or so drawing in the sun and admiring the view.
Most of the other ruins are scattered throughout this stunning countryside, full of flowing grass, winding pathways and patches of tall forested trees. The scenery reminded me of Scotland a little and once again I admired how diversely fascinating Turkey was.
As magic hour approached, we passed by a forest that was full of birds chirping filling the air with music. In that moment, we were surrounded by peace and beauty.
We walked back over the travertines as the sun began to set. This was one of my favourite days in Turkey, the day was the perfect balance of adventure, relaxing, exploration and inspiration.
That evening we ate dinner at the hotel. I wish we could have stayed a little bit longer as the hotel itself was very charming and their pool looked so inviting after a day in the sun. We devoured our clay lamb pot meal that was paired with a local wine. A perfect way to end an amazing day.