Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Natural Wonder at Pamukkale, Turkey

After exploring Cappadocia, getting to the next destination on our itinerary was a little less straightforward.

First we had to take a flight from central Turkey to the province of Izmir in the southwest. Then we had to get to our hotel in Kusadasi, a coastal city which is an hour away from Izmir. From Kusadasi we had to travel more than 3 hours inland to get to Pamukkale near the city of Denizli to see yet another UNESCO World Heritage site...

Not quite impressive from afar huh? A snow covered mountain in the middle of nowhere?

Now here's what it is up close...

Here in Pamukkale lies a natural wonder that's unique in the world.

White-as-snow calcium terraces formed by cascading spring water which crystallizes, creating what look like frozen waterfalls on a cliff! Such a breathtaking sight!

As you can see, visitors are required to remove their footwear while walking on the travertines. Parts of it can be extremely slippery (the pools of water with traces of calcium), so extra caution is neccessary. The other parts that are soft and mud-like or solidified and coarse are easier to walk on.

Mother Nature's infinity pool!

The temperature of the thermal spring water here is about 35⁰C and it is known for its therapeutic and healing properties. Yay! We all go home with younger looking feet!

Apart from this spectacular natural phenomenon, the other monuments around this site include the ancient ruins of the Greco-Roman City of Hierapolis and an Archeological Museum which was once the site of ancient Roman thermal baths.

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