Salt travertine

Flashback Friday ~ Pamukkale, Turkey

Cotton Castle, Pamukkale Travertine

Snow Day? No way!

2008 Turkey

I know there will be a point in my life where I will live mostly in my memories— but I am hoping that time does not come until I am well into my 74th year of life, and too tired to care about chasing my dreams anymore… just chasing children off my lawn.

Until then, I still take great delight in reminiscing on the amazing journeys I have already completed in my life. Today, I’m in the mood to share one; Pamukkale, Turkey.

Most of my friends living in America usually gasp or shudder at the thought of traveling to Turkey.  Beyond the media hype and misconstrued ideas of Turkey,
what does the average person know about this country? Well, I’m alive, aren’t I?
I hope that by sharing some of the beauty of this place, I will be able to convince just one more person to visit this beautiful country and take in the wonder of this diverse city.

So, my first Flashback Friday is dedicated to one of the most unique places on this world, Pamukkale. Looking at the above photos you would think this is a gorgeous snowy lake. Nope! Travertine, friends. To get your geek on and really find out what comprises this phenomenon, check out this Wiki Artickle.

We arrive into town via the overnight bus from Istanbul at 530am, and everything is pitch black. We locate a pension across the way from the bus station and heave our overpacked bags into the room, take a (much needed) shower and get ready to explore the area. Finally, the sun is up and shining on the site about 3 km away, which, looks like any snow covered hills I have ever seen.

As you reach the base of the travertine there are signs reminding you to take off your shoes and walk barefoot so as not to muddy up the travertine. There are trails of slimy brown and black muck where the tourists treading before us did not heed the warning, so respectfully, we remove our shoes and start the climb upwards. After a few hundred yards, I realized why the people had kept their shoes on- this stuff REALLY hurts! Fortunately the beauty surrounding you takes your mind off the pain.

My travel companion and I both are amazed to be walking barefoot on something that really looks like immaculately preserved snow, turned it into our

Salt travertine

Trip on this.

own playground. Stopping to rest our (very pained) feet in the ice cold pools of water and running to the other side of the hill, where the water comes down the stream just above bathing temperature. The sun reflects off this stark white ground under our feet, and adds even more to the magic of the area. The best part is when you reach the top of the hill, and are greeted by Hierapolis, the ancient ruins of the old city.

For thousands of years people have been flocking to this area to the mineral springs, which are renowned for their healing powers, to remedy an illness or simply for a vacation. However, at the top of this hill where the crisp, white land meets the lush green fields that are sprinkled with the wild red poppies of the area… it’s enough to boggle your mind.

Also, if you’re even slightly considering a trip to Turkey- do it! I cannot say enough great things about the country’s sights, people, cuisine, or the overall feeling of the place.
Truly, a country that captured my heart.

Go see it for yourself!

Brandy Bell loves adventuring around the world. She's been a solo female traveler since 2006 and has visited over 25 countries, made countless international friends, and now writes to inspire you to travel in a sustainable and responsible way.

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