Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pamukkale Dreaming

It's Saturday, and I was having a short siesta after spending most of the morning reading.

I awoke to the thought of a sauna bath (!), probably because in the last chapter of the travel book that I was reading, the author was describing her experiences in Pamukkale.

November 2012 - I remember arriving Pamukkale on a cold, wet morning on the overnight bus from Cappadoccia. Arriving at the travel agency to get some information, there was an annoying and quite entertaining trio from Mumbai who  could not seem to decide what they want to do. The lady especially couldn't stop yakking. Pahh - woman!

I bought the day trip package as well as the bus ticket onward to Selcuk, as did most of us who were travelling that day. The Mumbai trio was indecisive, in the end we all chipped in and suggested they go stay in Ephesus instead. We smiled knowingly like conspirators, we could do without them - too noisy :-)

Anyway, we headed on to Karahayit (the hot spring water tasted like blood. Metallic. Heavy on the tongue), then to Necropolis and Hierapolis, then we braved the rain and cold breeze to walk down the grey-white cotton castles to our lunch venue. Oh, had I mentioned it was drizzling the whole time?

The grey-white cliffs were amazing. I could not describe it. It seems to be this huge white hillside cauldron out of nowhere. Coupled with the mist and the steam from the hot spring water gushing from the earth, it was magical. Truly surreal.

If I had fallen asleep and woken up to the sight of the hill I'd say it's a dream.

At the restaurant, lunch was devoured first in silence - as all of us were starving after being exposed to the cold. Then we picked up pace and ate and ate; the food was lovely and comforting, and a few dishes were already familiar. I really liked some of the stews and soups.

Returning to the hotel later, I was half soaked, and requested to use the washroom to change. Although I was not a guest, they were so kind to direct me to the hot sauna room, which I happily used all on my own. After a relaxing hot bath later, I was nice and warm in dry clothes, ready for our onward bus. I slept most of the journey.

I was woken up as it got dark and we were almost in Selcuk. I did not have any reservations or a solid plan.

I was going to wing it again. Hey, far more fun than having everything in place :)


  1. Fun, yes, but as I had once had to overnight outside the train station in Venice (with all the other homeless and suspicious figures which only emerged in the dark) on a cold freezing night, I'd much rather have everything in place accommodation-wise. Travel plans can be altered but I don't fancy having to stay awake all night to safeguard my belongings and myself

    1. I think because I did not have a fixed schedule then it felt alright and I did not worry about needing to book anything in advance. If it was tight that would be quite necessary.

      I usually sleep on/against my backpack. Not very elegant, no. But yeah must find a way to secure belongings even when sleeping in open places.