Crossing Uneven Ground

Pamukkale, Turkey – Cotton Castles in the Sky

So if you ask me why, I will tell you why I came here. There are cotton castles in the sky.

Posing in Pool Pamukkale

High in the hills above Pamukkale there flow thermally heated waters that are full of minerals. As the water flows down over the hills they deposit layers of shiny white, coral-like deposits. It is a sight to behold and thousands of pilgrims migrate up the gentle slope and take delight in walking on perfectly white rock where warm water cascades over. The deposits are called the travertines. They are marbley to look at but when climbed barefoot (as required by the local Jandarms) they tread well and nary a slip is felt as you climb up beholding nature’s handiwork.

Walking the Travertines

Travertines at Pamukkale It was lots of fun to photograph Joanne as we trod up through the ankle-deep water. The white travertine stone makes for a natural reflector, brightening the shadows.  Water, rich with sediment, flows over rock to form the cotton castle.  Pamukkale in Turkish, means cotton castle, which is the name of the town below.  The town is well, let’s just say, not a great destination. The rock formations, a World Heritage Site, are unique and lovely.

Theater at Hieropolis

Pool with Relics Pamukkale

Once up you can visit ancient Hieropolis. Yep the Greeks, then Romans, then Byzantians got here before the throngs of tour buses. Back in the BCEs a cool city was built above the warm springs. It bewilders me that the Turks just let everybody wander around their ruins. No fences (probably means no lawyers) and you can touch stones carved over two thousand years ago.  So ancient ruins and a picturesque natural oddity in a perfectly hospitable climate. That’s why I’m here in the hills of forest green where the mountains touch the sky.

Travertine stone detail

The water, scintillating in the morning sun, flows over the coral-like rock. It’s not slippery to walk on.

Man with mud

Ok, maybe the muddy sediment has some therapeutic qualities.  Hopefully?

Travertine PoolsPosing for a photo

This other-worldly landscape is a great place for portrait photography. I figured some of these folks were updating their facebook profiles with fashionable poses.

Find a good spot to photograph the balloons here.

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