Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 8: Pamukkale

In the morning our bus took us to Aphrodisias, the ruins of an artists' colony of sculptors, upon which a village had been standing not long ago. The man who discovered the ruins actually found the village built atop the old pillars, columns, fallen capitals, actually using some of the original marble furniture too! Here we saw a theater, bathhouse, that place where the council would meet and I forget what it's called, workshops, and the most awesome stadium. It's neat because the path leading into it at first only gives a view of one end, which just looks like another theater, but as you enter the stadium , and turn to the left, you gasp at the length of it; it stretches on forever! This stadium can seat 30,000 people, so amazing. On the walk through the ruins we saw by the path a flower, a smaller species related to the Titan Arum, on which I've written a piece in the past, which stinks of rotting meat, attracting flies and the like. Beautiful though and a neat find. When we reached the end, by the ruins of a temple and the tomb of the discoverer, Pleen and Barb and I saw sprinklers, and being as unbelievably hot as we were , we ran through the refreshing water, squeeling like children and thouroughly enjoying ourselves. It felt so good! At the site is a museum showcasing the sculptures excavated from the site. Ancient sculptures of the greeks and romans are by far my favourite, so I enjoyed seeing them. So beautiful, magnificent. With a bit of time left I went and saw photos taken at the time of the site's discovery, with village life built atop the ruins, then wandered over to buy an icecream. I pointed to the one I wanted, something with 'karamel', but he took out two cones. I pointed to the one I actually wanted, saying "just this one" but he said "promotion" insisting I take the second for only 50kurus more. Ok... it had a picture of cupid on it, and I ate it, too, haha. I couldn't guess at the flavour though. After seeing all the was to see, a trailer with seats towed by a tractor pulled us to where the buses were parked. Of course there were more stalls of wares. One of the things sold only here are little clay bird shaped whistles, which, when filled with a bit of water, make neat bird sounds. I bought an unpainted one, which looks more ancient/authentic than the tacky painted ones, for only 2TL, though I've yet to make it work very well. Oh well, still neat!
After wards the bus took us to a place for lunch. When we were all seated, a guy came by with a big trolley with examples to show us what we could order with Selcuk translating for him. They went through it a second time, this time we raised out hands when they named the item we wanted. Pretty efficient! I ordered the spinach and cheese pide. I'm not sure there was any cheese, but it did have egg in it, I'm sure, and it was tasty, with a bottle of water. The restaurant had peacocks at it, cool.
Then we headed to the hotel to pick up those who'd chosen not to go on the optional tour of Aphrodisias, and we rode to Hierapolis.
Hierapolis is an ancient acropolis. The mountain it is built on had one side covered in white calcification from the natural mineral spring that has formed terraced pools. To reduce the destruction tourism in the past did to the travertines, the portions open to tourists can only be walked on barefoot. The abundance of international feet in a variety of conditions dissuaded me from taking part, and I spooked Pleen too much for her to do so as well. The mineral water is said to have healing properties and a pool has been built on the site fed from the spring. for 25TL you can swim amongst topple pillars. Expensive, and honestly looked much like a fancy hotel pool, but kinda scummy. They have a cafe set up by the pool though, so Pleen, Jayde, and I enjoyed our free time drinking some Efes. On the way back to the bus we stopped into the museum's shop and I bought a gorgeous lavender, cream, and gold scarf and, since they accepted visa, bought a book on Turkey and its ancient civilizations' sites. As well as the museum that we didn't visit as it costed extra and supposedly not as good as Aphrodisias's there is the old roman theater and the largest ancient cemetery in Turkey, Cool.
Back at the hotel Pleen showered before dinner, we hit up the buffet, then I showered, more like trickled, ha, and then we went on a mission to find a corkscrew! Took a long time and was not unlike a scavenger hunt as we traced clues and rumours, but we eventually found one, thanks to James, whom we repaid with a glass of wine. Blackberry wine! Tastes like candy!! So with dinner, our water in glasses that just 'happened' to be shaped like wine glasses had followed us up to our room, and we brought these back down to the lobby topped to the rim with delicious wine. Sneaky! Haha, like ninjas. Then we lounged on the harem couch and wrote in our journals. Just as we finished up our last pages James' mum and her boyfriend let us know that the hotel's disco was open. When Pleen and I made our way down there just to see what it was like, they were the only ones there! Since the music didn't appear to be getting any better, we headed back to our room for the last few sips of wine left in the bottle and went to bed, but not before Pleen floundered about in the hammock quickly!

1 comment:

  1. I have really enjoyed the journey so far!
    (hint, hint!)