Monday, January 19, 2015

Turkey - Pamukkale "Cotton Castle" - Day 4

It was time to leave SPA Hotel Colossae which is located in Denizli, Pamukkale and it is close to Hierapolis Necropolis, Pamukkale..

At the entrance of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pamukkale.
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year.

Tourism is and has been a major industry. People have bathed in its pools for thousands of years. As recently as the mid-20th century, hotels were built over the ruins of Hierapolis, causing considerable damage. An approach road was built from the valley over the terraces, and motor bikes were allowed to go up and down the slopes.
Deriving from springs in a cliff almost 200 m high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created at Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site.
Wearing shoes in the water is prohibited to protect the deposits.
The pools are created from spring water rising from the ground at a point almost three hundred meters from the actual pools, the water emerges warm, around 35 degrees and is full of calcium. As it emerges and flows down the hills the calcium is deposited and slowly builds up creating the snow white terraces that hold small pools of light blue water.
Antique Pool is a modern spa complex with a thermal pool that is open to the public. The pool is surrounded by lush greenery and in it are marble columns, capitals and plinths that are believed to have fallen from the nearby Temple of Apollo during an earthquake, making this a sacred pool. Mineral-rich fresh water is constantly pumped in and the water felt warm to touch. Cleopatra is said to have swum in an earlier version of a pool here, but whether she did or not, I must say that this pool looks idyllic and inviting, but unfortunately we didn’t come prepared for a swim.
 It was during the Roman period that the city’s reputation as a health centre boomed. The hot springs, with its mineral rich waters are said to be good for illnesses such as skin diseases, circulation problems, rheumatism, heart diseases and many other ailments and people flocked here to find relief for their diseases. At the height of this health tourism, there were more than fifteen baths in Hierapolis.
The ancient Greco-Roman and Byzantine city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2,700 metres (8,860 ft) long, 600 m (1,970 ft) wide and 160 m (525 ft) high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 km away.

Dondurma (literally Turkish for "freezing") is the name given to ice cream in Turkey. Dondurma typically includes the ingredients milk, sugar, salep, and mastic. It is believed to originate from the city and region of Maraş and hence also known as Maraş Ice Cream.