Pamukkale


Pamukkale is the place with the white calcium terraces. It is quite unique, especially since the white and pink terraces of Te Wairoa in New-Zealand disappeared under a lavaflow in 1886. And now it is one of the most famous places in Turkey.

Mia taking photographs

Crowded terraces

Because Pamukkale is so famous, many many tourists visit this place. And tourists, especially in hotels, use a lot of water. Therefore, there is a lot less water on the terraces than there used to be. This makes it very hard for the Turkish authorities to keep Pamukkale chalky and white. The most obvious measure is that only on a small part of the formation it is allowed to take your shoes off and paddle in the pools.

The other parts of Pamukkale are off limits for tourists. These terraces are under strict supervision, a well-designed irrigation plan has to make sure the calcium in the water deposits where it should. That's why there isn't any water on most of the terraces, but at least the terraces are chalky white and not dirt brown, yellowish or dull grey.

Ideal for heavy metal videoclips

Right next to the chalky terraces is another place well worth a visit: the ancient site of Hierapolis. The most important thing about this ancient site is its huge necropolis. This is said to be the largest ancient graveyard in Turkey. There are over a thousand tombs, graves, sarcophagi and other types of storage facilities for the dead.  

Storage facilities for dead bodies

Jan suggested the necopolis would be an ideal place to record a video clip for a heavy metal band. We all agreed.

The gate

The ancient city itself is interesting too, with remains from many era's: there's a theatre, a temple of Apollo, an early Christian church, a Byzantine gate and lots more. Still, after seeing Efeze and Aphrodisias earlier this week, the necropolis itself is the most interesting.

Anybody home ?

In Pamukkale, there's a lot of supervision by the police. A few minutes after I made this picture, we saw the same policeman (together with two of his colleagues) chasing a guy who had been urinating against the ruins.

Police officer on a mountain bike

The cold swimming pool in the hotel

The calcium-rich water of Pamukkale is said to be very healthy. One swim in the ancient swimming pool of Pamukkale is said to give you a longer life of 10 extra years. We think this ancient pool is far too expensive and prefer the swimming pool in the hotel. Now we'll probably die 10 years earlier.
It's a man, can't you see

In the evening, we are presented with a belly dancing act in our hotel. As usual, the first dancer happens to be a man, dressed up as a woman (yes we've seen acts like this before). Even though it's quite obvious, it takes a few minutes for all the other guests in the hotel to discover it's a man. Anyway, he's a good dancer and his show is great, so who cares....

Very attractive lady dancer

Herman assisting the lady dancer

Well, we do, actually. The next dancer is definitively NOT a man. And she is a hell lot more attractive than the guy.

In shows like this, there's always there's always the risk you have to assist the lady dancer with her performance, with a bit of performance of your own.

Jan stuffing the lady with loads of money
Bernard and Herman volunteered eagerly; Jan and I were glad we didn't have to, even if this meant we had to stuff the girl with money after the show.