Pammukale means cotton castle, the limestone covered mountain looked more like ice formations in Iceland. The terraces formed on the slopes were filled with milky blue water. The limpid pools were warm and had a steady flow due to the hot springs. One cannot really define the beauty of the visual, it is surreal.
We had left Bodrum(Turkey) early in the morning as Pammukale was a 4 hour drive and we didn’t want to reach there with the sun overhead. We were warned that it could get pretty hot and we should be well equipped with sunscreen. On our way we stopped at a fast food joint for a quick snack. It had a small store nearby that sold fresh spices. Red chillies were hung in huge bunches after they were dried out in the sun next door. It was something my daughter had never seen. Our Nikon came out and we had a perfect photo op. I am sure the drying of spices in Rajasthan are also a similar sight.
By the time we had reached, the temperatures had soared up. We got into our swimsuits, lathered ourselves with sunscreen, put on our glares, wore our slippers and trudged uphill. With the sun glaring down at us I must say it was a long one but the anticipation of the view served to lighten the task. And then there it was….truely nature’s astounding canvas. We had seen the pictures of the calcified mountains that looked like snowcapped mountains with ice blue ledgepools but actually being there was another experience altogether. It was truly an amazing geographical phenomena.
Bordering this is the ruins of the Roman city of Hierapolis. With over two million visitors annually, it is also Turkey’s single most visited attraction. We were fortunate however to reach before the bus loads came in. A perfect tourist spot, they have a hot spring pool with well splattered amenities of a shower, toilets, eateries, coffee/tea machines and even salons offering a fish pedicure. We decided to utilize all of it. While the men went to order pizzas and sandwiches, my daughter n I decided to take a swim. The ticklish fish pedicure delighted my daughter while we filled our tummies with the piping hot pizza. As we drove back we all agreed, the long drive had been totally worth it.
Sometimes, all that is needed is a mindset to relax. We Indians need it the most with our over stressed lifestyles. With a European destination not being possible at a whim, we can only hope Goa does a tourist-friendly fix.