Day 42 // After we forked southward and went through the Aegean wide spaces, we reach the Pamukkale’s celestial hill.
We move on a road which scars the huge plain, in a bus we took by hitchiking. Pamukkale suddenly arises in the bend of a hill, although nothing foresees its existence. It's still early when the driver gives us money to do the last fifteen kilometers to reach the cotton castle. As soon as we travel in the other side of Istanbul, we see the temperatures falls down and brushes against zero. This is the prolegomenon of what is going to happen in Cappadocia. On the other hand, days are hot, and the sky only knows the sun for twenty eight days in a row ! Since we crossed the Bosphore's gate by hitchiking and went southward, pick-up, auto-bus and trucks don't hesitate to take us anymore, even if they don't have space.
Hierapolis's ruins. The city was born from the baths sources exploitation.
It's not difficult to spend the night in Pamukkale because it's surrounded by grassy spaces, where it's possible to set up the bivouac. Indeed, hills offer many places, despite a barren and rocky land. On the other hand, think about get food in the previous city Denizli, to have another choices than restaurants and petrol stations. Auto-bus are the most recurrent vehicles on the road. So, it's hard to hitchike or reach the both cities by feet like we did, after twenty kilometers and four hours.
By moving forward persistently eastward and sinking into the winter, sun set at sixteen o'clock now !
We spend the whole day to visit Hierapolis's ruins, listed by the Unesco world heritage since 1988. They gather all civilizations relics, collided once in the bend of hills and through centuries. The old city dedicated a cult to Apollon during the Hellenic period, then to Pluton when it was oriental roman Empire time. So the Persian empire, the Crusades and finally the earthquakes finish to destroy it.
It's still twenty height degrees during the day in November end !
Then we walk with our naked feet on the limestone cliffs, these millenium natural baths. This famous place culminates at seventy meters above plain level. People swim in what appears to be a lost glacier in the middle of summer. It's actually tuffaceous made by hot sources which escape from the mountain innards. As Cleopatra baths, people still use it nowadays.
The cotton castle, hanged to the valley's slopes.
Far from a place to wander, the ban of enter with our sixty liters backpack forces us to negociate with the Pamukkale's traders for keeping them. Otherwise, it's possible to go through the western hill and cross a little hedge to be in the Hierapolis's enclosure because places aren't busy out of season. If you can escape from the keepers watch, who are absents on this side, you shouldn't pay anything.
The limestone craters, from the other side of the telescope.
Sometimes, Pamukkale make me think about Olympus but nowadays it's corrupted by tourism. We're glad to be back on the road among lanky children who ask us about our origins or men who make us shot with gun, happy to share what they don't have, with foreigners they don't know anything yet.