The Sahara and Us Morocco 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pammukale (Pah-moo-Kah-Lee)

Sunset over Pammukale

Pools formed by Deposits
 Our ride to Pammukale, (Pah-moo-Kah-Lee) Turkish for Cotton Castle  was 35C at 9:00 am and  40 Celsius when we arrived after a smooth drive covering the 180 kms on basically 4 lane road except for the last 20 kms. which was closer to goat trail.
Cotton Candy Way

Sandra on Walk up
Pammukale the town itself is on a ledge, and the Hierapolis ancient ruins site is on another ledge above the town. We checked into a pension arranged by the people in Ephesus and it was just too hot to do anything. We tried to go up to the site but the heat, closer to 45C in the sun was too much, so we sat by the pool, swam and I fell asleep for a nice nap. We decided to head up there after supper with hopefully the heat subsiding… which it did only a little.

And people coming down waterway
One thing we’ve been doing and this was no exception is, if the pension offers a meal we take it. We arrived up on the site just as the sun was setting. What is notable about this site,  Hierapolis ruins were built on an earthquake fault line, which fractured in the middle ages sinking part of the town and creating a fissure of hot water that is high in calcium carbonate. As it comes to the surface like a hot spring the carbonate evaporates leaving the calcium deposits on the rock formations and forming pools. Over centuries this has created a huge site of white cotton candy appearing calcium residue and hence Pammukale.

Us on the Walk Up
As you begin the walk up there is a security guard that tells you when you have to take off your footwear and go barefoot. Moments later you are walking in a veritable waterfall flowing down the pathway. It was eerie and neat at the same time. Water was running from everywhere in this 40C heat.
One thing about the heat as well, people lose their inhibitions about what they wear. Many wore bathing suits while around the whole site, Sandra says she saw a woman in nothing but panties and I suppose bra, in any event it was hot.
Showering with the water that falls

Giant Pools

This is really a site to see at sunset, the views and light is so much different than in the bright glare of the mid day sun. Mind you it was not without some trade-offs.

Ruins at Sunset

The Theatre

Water fall at Night
 We could not enter then sunken ruins area after sunset and though we weren’t interested in visiting the whole site of ruins, after Ephesus, the light ran out and we headed down in the dark, on a lit path. We even had a dog, stay right with us to the gate, as if our personal watch dog, then he turned around to get the next set of descending visitors.

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