Monday, July 1, 2019

Don't Miss Pamukkale

If this somehow looks like a glacier in the middle of Turkey, you'd be forgiven for thinking so.

It sure looks like it...well, except for the green trees and grass in front of it. 😉

In reality, this is one of the most spectacular natural phenomenas that I've ever seen!

This is Pamukkale, which means "cotton castle". The white that you see is so unusual, and something I'd never even heard of before today.

This is travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water from a hot spring.

Calcium carbonate is deposited by the water as a soft gel which eventually crystallizes into travertine - the kind that is hewn, cut, polished and put into homes around the world!

Yet here we are, standing in our bare feet (they don't allow you to wear shoes as you're walking up the hill), on the most natural form of travertine.

I don't know how, but there is even a tree growing out of it, providing the perfect spot for a picture with our friends, Steve, Polly, Cotter and Ginger!

We spent the next hour, slowly making our way up the travertine hill, enjoying this absolutely incredible natural wonder.

But here's the other incredible thing about it...the hot springs that create the travertine are still here!

Standing in the warm water is glorious!

The calcium-rich springs have been slowly dropping down this mountainside for thousands of years, and still continue to do so.

Our guide told us that years ago hotels were built up here, as well as an access road right over this beautiful spot.

But when the area was declared a World Heritage Site, the hotels were demolished and the road removed and replaced with artificial pools.

Different pools are different depths, but with your bare feet, you're allowed to walk into them!

If you know me, you know I'm pretty enthusiastic about a lot of things. 😉But never more so than when I'm encountering something new!

And this was the epitome of something new! It was unlike anything I've ever seen or experienced. I couldn't believe I didn't even know it existed before today.

The oddity and wonder of it was looking down into the valley and seeing a normal landscape, juxtaposed with walking on such an unusual one!

The higher you climbed, the more you understood and experienced the magnificence of this place, including these terraced pools.

If ever there was a place I'd like to come back to, it's here!

And if you're ever in Turkey, don't miss it!

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