Up one level Turkey, 1 - 10 January 2009 » Pamukkale and Aphrodisias

Pamukkale and Aphrodisias

We flew to Denizli from Istanbul and then took a cab to Pamukkale to see both Hierapolis, which was founded as a thermal spa in the 2nd century BC, and also the travertines. The travertines are formed from the calcium carbonate deposited by the hot springs that the thermal spas of Hierapolis were built to contain. It again rained heavily while we were out in Hierapolis, but the weather started to turn in the afternoon and by the time we started walking in the warm water flowing over the travertines, the sun came out for the first time in a week. This change in weather proved to be the start of a spell of good weather we enjoyed over the next few days. We had fun wading in the warm water flowing over the travertines, and also admired the patterns of the calcium deposits on the travertines. Within 30 minutes, however, the sun went back behind the clouds and the rain started again.

The next day, we hired a cab to bring us to Aphrodisias, which is named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. One benefit of visiting in the off-season is that we can occasionally get wonderful places like Aphrodisias almost completely to yourself. One disadvantage is that we had to pay for costly cabs to get to these sites because the regular tourist buses don't operate in the winter. We only encountered one tour group the entire time we spent in Aphrodisias, and they only spent an hour or so around the site. We enjoyed walking around the site and reading the signs, particularly the impressive stadium that had a seating capacity of 30,000 and a length of 270 meters.

img_0401 Antique Pool, Hierapolis _mg_9855 12,000 seat theatre, Hierapolis _mg_9858 12,000 seat theatre, Hierapolis _mg_9864 Ruins between the theatre and pools, Hierapolis _mg_9882 Travertine shelves, Pamukkale _mg_9885 Serene on the travertine shelves, Pamukkale _mg_9892 Travertine shelves, Pamukkale _mg_9915 Travertine shelves, Pamukkale img_0440 Eu-Jin and dog on the travertine shelves, Pamukkale; taken by Serene _mg_9929 Travertine shelf, Pamukkale img_0459 Tetrapylon, Aphrodisias; taken by Serene _mg_9933 Serene and a cat near the Tetrapylon, Aphrodisias _mg_9942 Tetrapylon (Monumental Gateway), Aphrodisias img_0470 Stadium, Aphrodisias; taken by Serene _mg_9960 Serene on the steps of the Stadium, Aphrodisias _mg_9971 Tetrapylon (Monumental Gateway), Aphrodisias _mg_9985 Tetrapylon (Monumental Gateway), Aphrodisias img_0475 Stadium, Aphrodisias; taken by Serene _mg_0002 Stadium, Aphrodisias _mg_0004 Stadium with 30,000 seats and 270 m long, Aphrodisias _mg_0010 Bishop's Palace and the Temple of Aphrodite, Aphrodisias _mg_0023 Southern Agora in the foreground and the Temple of Aphrodite in the background, Aphrodisias _mg_0036 Colonnaded Palaestra, Aphrodisias _mg_0042 Theatre, Aphrodisias _mg_0052 Marble bouleuterion (apparently buried under mud for 1000 years), Aphrodisias