We went to Pamukkale for the surreal landscapes and the Roman ruins. Although very beautiful and interesting, we found the tourists to be more entertaining.
Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle,” is a white cliff face formed by the calcified deposits of mineral waters that rush from the springs. Scattered about are rock pools of turquoise water, filled with tourists doing weird things.
We began our exploration at the south entrance with a walk up a sloping trail, through warm mineral waters, past artificial baths filled with beautiful girls posing for photos, past obese men in speedos, and women in bikinis who should not be wearing bikinis. Down below, terraces filled with light blue water offer a glimpse of what the place looked like before being altered by man. I’d love to have seen in its natural state, but I’d have to travel back in time 2200 years in order to do so.
Hierapolis, the ruined Roman city atop the terraces, might have been the original spa town. For thousands of years, people have traveled here to bathe in the mineral waters. Today, the ruins are an afterthought for most visitors who come to party in the pools. I think Hierapolis is okay with that. What other ruins do people visit in bikinis and swimsuits? Where else do men walk around shirtless and girls pose for photos in ancient amphitheaters while wearing next to nothing? Nearby Efes may be more renowned, the forum in Rome might have more history, but Hierapolis is the cool kid of ruins.
This may end up being my best photo of this trip. On the left we have a bride-to-be posing for photos, on the right we have a man evidently worried about keeping the sun off his face.
She is mistaking this for an SI Swimsuit Issue shoot.
Sunset and moonrise above the pools.
What is the strangest landscape you’ve ever seen?
Are you as shocked as I am by the first photo in this set?
To see other posts about our current trip in Europe, click on the Europe Trip 2013 tag.