Turkey

Pamukkale – Cotton Castle of Turkey

Last year in November was our first trip to Turkey. The reason I mentioned first trip is because I will visit this beautiful country again, next time with friends or family.  Pamukkale means “Cotton Castle” in Turkish. It is another small town which we loved and spent few wonderful days of our Turkey holiday.

Shoes are not allowed on travertines.

Like Goreme this town is also very small. We stayed at beautiful “Melrose Hotel” owned and managed by Mehmet and his lovely wife.We spent a day at Travertines starting little late after breakfast and walked up the travertines. Lot of tour operators drive tourists to the top and then tourists walk down to get picked up.

Shoes are not allowed on travertines, you have to walk barefoot. We felt good while walking barefoot on these rocks as the water was warm and weather was good that we didn’t realize spending couple of hours enjoying this natural beauty. Thankfully it wasn’t crowded as most of the tourists / tour operators come post lunch and leave by evening. That might be a reason why there were limited hotels compared to Goreme.

Climb wasn’t steep and we walked up all the way from our hotel. You need to remove your shoes just before the first patch of white seen on the left side in the picture (below). Flow and direction of water is controlled by authorities to maintain rock’s whiteness. There is a beautiful garden and a pond developed by local authorities right below the travertines.

Looking down from where we started.

Pamukkale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of ruins of Hierapolis, hot springs and travertines which are as old as first half of the 3rd century BCE.

Travertines


From distance these travertines looks like snow and it is mesmerizing to see it at night. It is said that sunset is the most beautiful time to be at travertines and it looks beautiful from there. Although we didn’t stay up to view sunset but it was equally stunning from down below. Managed to capture Neha’s silhouette at that time.

Silhouette against Golden Sunset at Pammukkale

Travertines at night

Travertines look more beautiful at night with all the colorful lights on.

Travertines at night with colorful lights

The ancient city of Hierapolis was built on top of this white castle. Since 2nd century BCE this place was a thermal spa and thousands of people came to benefit from the medicinal properties of the hot springs.

Ruins of Hierapolis

It is believed that Cleopatra used to swim in these waters and there is a pool with ruined pillars which is now known as Cleopatra Pool.

Cleopatra pool

The most amazing part of these ruins which I liked was the amphitheater. The moment I saw it I was thinking of Gladiator. This amphitheater had been built multiple times in different centuries and currently also restoration is going on.

Amphitheatre

We had initially planned for two days at Pamukkale but because of some last minute changes we got more than 2 days. We took an overnight bus from Goreme and reached Pamukkale early morning. Travertines were at 10 mins walking distance from our hotel. We used our extra time in exploring Denzili which was 30 min bus ride. The locals were really helpful in guiding us to the local shopping places.

While going to Denzili, I remember how locals, passengers in bus, walked with us to make sure that we reach the exact place. In fact, I clearly remember an elderly gentleman walking with us for almost 30 minutes so that we find what we were looking for. There was some confusion when we wanted to buy Apple Tea Powder and the kind gentleman misunderstood that we wanted to drink Apple Tea. He took us to a local joint in Fruit market for hot cup of Apple Tea, we felt so embarrassed as he ended up wasting his 30 minutes on us. 😦 Language was a barrier but we found lot of common words in Turkish which we use in India and that helped us to an extent.

Although Pamukkale can be covered in a day or as most tourists do in half day, I feel that two days are must for such a lovely place.

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Categories: Cold, History, Leisure, Mountain, Travel, Turkey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fishing at Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul

A boat ride at Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul is one of the to-do-list for most tourists. It’s a 32 km (20-mile)-long strait which joins the Sea of Marmara to the south with the Black Sea to the north of Istanbul. You can see Europe and Asia on this ride.

Fishing at Galata Bridge

Interesting part is to see Fishermen on Galata Bridge from where the cruise or boat ride starts. From the picture it might seem that Fishing is Turkey’s national pasttime.

On a weekend you can find scores of people with fishing rods standing there for a long time. There are lot of learners and many professionals.

Some get good catch and don’t miss out an opportunity to click a picture.

(I won’t be surprised if this was uploaded on his facebook profile or as his DP 😉 )

And some professionals manages to get a BIG catch.

Total 8 at a time….

 

I did tried my hand but wasn’t successful. Next time when you are in Istanbul keep half day spare for fishing at Galata Bridge. And don’t forget to get a click of your catch. 😉

Categories: Adventure, Fishing, Leisure, Travel, Turkey | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Balloon Ride over Cappadocia

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Early morning view of Cappadocia from Balloon Ride.

This was one of the most memorable part of our 10 days trip to Turkey. It was freezing cold for someone from Mumbai. We were picked up from our hotel at 5am in Zero degree C temperature. But the moment we saw the balloon getting prepared, we forgot everything about cold.

It’s an hour’s ride which completely depends on the weather and air. They take you down to the valleys and close to villages. There are moments when you feel like if you stretch your arm (provided you have space in the basket) on of your fingers will touch the walls of houses.

View of fairy chimneys, valley and balloons

View of fairy chimneys, Pigeon valley and hot air balloons

There are packages available based on hour and number of people in a basket. We had opted for 24 people basket as it was cheapest and also made sense in the freezing weather ;-).

All the companies providing hot air balloon rides are same, the only difference is your pilot. If your pilot is good then you will have an amazing time on the ride.

Its a beautiful place and locals are very nice. It should be a must visit place for all the people who love adventure, history, calm, serene, food, I can literally go on. 🙂

I will visit this place again.

Categories: Adventure, Cold, Travel, Turkey | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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