"Not all those who wander are lost." -J.R.R. Tolkien

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Katie and Will go to White Castle

Katie and I arrived on Sunday afternoon in Pamukkale by way of a three hour bus from Selcuk. Throughout the bus ride we were able to try and take in the arrid, mountainous landscape surrounding us. We had one scheduled pit stop during the bus ride where our bus driver, other crew members and gas station workers sat down to have hot tea, or 'cay' (pronounced chai-y). They offered it to us as well, don't mind if I do! People have been very helpful, hospitable and accommodating to us during our time in Turkey. People go out of their way to share what little they have, it's very humbling.

In Pamukkale we decided to "splurge" on a hotel/hostel after camping for a couple nights. It is very hot here right now, so the added comfort of AC was welcomed. We've also encountered some traveler's tummy troubles. Nothing serious, but a private bathroom was also a welcome amenity. The hotel also offers free breakfast, wifi, a friendly staff, a 5-minute walk to the tavertines (which you will hear about shortly), and a pool to boot! When I say "splurge", we negotiated for a 50 lira per night stay, which is a whopping $25. The room was bit dingy, but we're not complaining. Maybe you can guess why..

Pamukkale is know for its breathtaking tavertines. Pamukkale translates to 'white castle' from Turkish. Made up of 17 hot water springs, ranging from 95 to 212 degrees. The water flowing from these springs is saturated with calcium carbonate. The carbon dioxide is released from the water and during this reaction the calcium carbonate is deposited as sediment, eventually hardening to form travertines. Here is a picture so you can try to wrap your head around that.

None of the water we encountered was more than warm. You're able to walk and swim, though none of the pools are very deep, throughout the travertines freely, but everyone must remove their shoes. There is also a mud layer beneath the water that is said to have healing powers and do wonders for skin. Pamukkale was actually used as a pseudo-spa during antiquity. Here are some pictures of Katie and I testing it out.

We really enjoyed our adventure to the travertines. And we're really coming to enjoy Turkey as our time here winds down. Tonight we take an overnight bus back to Istanbul and tomorrow afternoon we fly to Athens! We'll keep y'all posted.


Will and Katie 

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