When I was at the beautiful age of 10, I had my first international flight. That was also the first time I ever saw an airplane, talked to a stewardess and found out that fruit candies, apparently, can be eaten for medical purposes. I still remember that I asked for some extra ones and everybody laughed (everybody still laughs, goddamn it…).
I was traveling from Riga, Latvia, to Antalya, Turkey. I remember Antalya as a lovely place, but, as a 10-year-old, I was more impressed with another destination that I still remember as the highlight of the whole trip – the travertine pools of Pamukkale.
Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish, and, if you look at this construction of travertine pools and hot springs, you really understand where this name originates from. Strongly resembling snowy mountain peaks, you don’t even realize at first that not even a hint of snow can possibly exist under the burning sun of Pamukkale. But when you approach the pools closely you finally recognize the chalky and powdery texture of white pure-looking limestone that tastes nothing like that airplane candy, I checked (I was 10, for Christ sake, so don’t blame me).
On the very top of the ‘white castle’ there’s an ancient city of Hierapolis that you should definitely go visit as well. Hierapolis takes up a sizeable territory and is super well preserved for something dating back to 3 century BC. This dead city is mostly notable for its Roman Theater and Cleopatra’s Pool. According to the legend, this pool was a gift to Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, from Mark Antony, her lover and husband. He most probably thought that swimming in carbonated water was the coolest idea ever and you know what, he was right. It is cool to see your skin covered with tiny sparkling bubbles under the Bonaqua-tasting water while you’re swimming around the ancient ruins of something that used to look magnificent before. Which it still does.
You can’t swim in the travertine pools of Pamukkale, as they are protected by UNESCO, but you can take a lovely walk along them and enjoy the spectacular view that is truly, truly unique.
All pictures were found on Pinterest – follow @therusabroad on Pinterest too!