Back inland, to the southwest in the valley of the Meander River, to discover Pamukkale which would be the most visited site in Turkey. This cotton castle, Turkish translation of Pamukkale, is a tufa field developed by hot waters (up to 45°C) flowing from the mountain. The flow of this water saturated with mineral salts and carbon dioxide produces a chemical reaction depositing calcium carbonate. This phenomenon thus deposits white layers in a pasty form, ultimately giving the appearance of a frozen waterfall. We had the images of these basins where the reflections of the sun on the whiteness sublimate the turquoise color of the water and then finally what will have conquered us is not only these natural swimming pools where many tourists play the goddesses in bikinis to the photo of the day but also and above all the ancient city of Hierapolis. We had two great ideas! The first, choose access to the site by the less crowded north entrance and the second visit at the end of the day where the light is simply perfect.
We therefore enter through the city and cross the necropolis to its theater. This city founded in the 2nd century BC. J-C. has developed thanks to the exploitation of its thermal springs recognized for their anti-aging properties. It seems that Cleopatra, who came to bathe there once, would then have brought this miracle water by convoy to Rome!
We took 4 hours for the whole site. Entry 60 lira per person (9.50€). 12979 steps – 9 km – good rhythm :). You can take your bathing suit for a bath of youth in the miracle but today artificial pools. Following the influx of tourists, access to real basins is prohibited, so yes you will not be alone in the world wanting to gain years!
The day after this beautiful discovery, we set off to conquer the city of Aphrodisias, the ancient city dedicated to the worship of the Greek goddess of love…Aphrodite! We also and above all go there to see the stadium dating from the 1st century AD. AD because it is one of the best preserved from this period. It could accommodate up to 30,000 spectators! And it’s a real nice surprise where I will long remember the friendship of a cat who threw himself around my neck. We had a great fun time and maybe our first signs of “too much stone, Pierre!” because we had a lot of fun, alone in the arenas of the stadium, when Chris tried to reproduce a scene from his favorite peplum: Gladiator.
And here we grant you, it is indeed an actor who is unaware of it!…
As it is on the road that leads to Ephesus, we strongly recommend that you give time to this city. Entrance to the site 24 lira pp (3.80€) – 1753steps – 6 km
On the way to Ephesus, an ancient Greek port city until the Byzantine period. It saw the birth of its decline by climate change and the gradual silting up of the port so that today the sea is located more than 7 km away. The Artemision, the great sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Artemis* was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We remember from this site the magnificent restoration of the facade of the library and unfortunately the mass tourism which makes the visit unpleasant. The next day, the price of the chosen ticket including the museum and St John’s Basilica in Selçuk, we join the museum as soon as it opens and only we complete our knowledge of this major site. A model of the Artemision and the Artemis goddesses are well highlighted. A good memory.