Saturday, 14 June 2014

Pamukkale, Turkey

Turkey never seizes to amaze ! Just when we thought it couldn't get much better than paragliding, we were pleasantly impressed by the unique mineral pools..

Immediately after paragliding, we hopped onto a mini bus, which took us to the city centre. The next bus we wanted was to be 4.5hrs long and to leave every two hours. We made the bus transfer in the nick of time. Our bus had already left but we were assisted around the corner where we met it as it left the city.! Phew good timing. Or else we would have twiddled our thumbs at the bus stop for two hours. Lucky day!

We arrived to Bodrum city centre 4.5 hours later, still smiling from our paraglide! The locals assisted us to our third bus of the day which took us near our accommodation.
(Side bar and tip for other travellers..use google maps!)..Ashton has the google map app on his phone which works on and offline. He uses wifi to locate our upcoming destination and then stars it on the map. Later when we are trying to find our new destination, Ashton pulls up google map and we walk/bus/drive toward the star! Works (almost) every time .. It also has gps in it which can read out directions to us!

So that's our secret! Google maps/gps "saving marriages since 2003".. Haha .. But seriously.. Another way that technology has improved travelling...
(Even though I tease Ashton about him using his gps.. I do have to admit that I would still be lost in Australia without it ;)) ha ha.. Clearly I suck at reading a map!

Sorry about getting off track. We are currently enjoying our first captain Morgan spice Rum and coke.. Since like.. 5 months ago! were blogging and drinking "gold"!! It's a very exciting night for us ;)

Our place in Bodrum was nice, however the locals running the place didn't speak a sniff of English.. So lots of charades later, we were able to communicate. Despite the language barrier, we enjoyed our
  Normally we don't like buying into "package tours", but we really wanted to see two more places before leaving Turkey and we were ready for a mental break from the planning. By booking a tour, we were able to sit back and let others organize transportation, accommodation, food, a guide. So we booked a two day, one night tour to Ephesus and Pammulakke!

We were picked up by the tour company at 6 am which was super early for us.. But super late for a couple party go-ers ;) we were starting our day, a couple was stumbling home from their night out.

Recall how I wrote that Olendiuz was covered in English vacationers... Well they are also taking over Bodrum in the summer months... In fact, our tour guide told us that bodrum is like a ghost town in the winter! but summer months the British people come over and rent apartments for the summer. A few of them buy pets for the summer, then leave their precious dogs and cats to fend for themselves when
they return to England in the winter. Apparently it's becoming quite the problem!.. And rightly so!!
That's animal cruelty!! After hearing that story we noticed an influx in stray dogs alongside the beach.

Oops.. Back on track...
After getting picked up by the company and all sorted out, we were finally left with 10 of us
passengers, a turkish guide and a driver. 4 British people...a couple of older Irish women who shared their drunken stories with us, :), a young lesbian couple from Germany! a Russian mother and young daughter and Us Canadians. (6 nationalities in one van!) Our guide was very bubbly and gave some turkey information to us while we drove.
                                 Our guide demonstrating how to fill our water bottles with mineral water
We stopped for breakfast, then made a pit stop at a gold factory! I was excited, expecting some sort of tour of the shop or learn about gold. But we received a sentence or two about the good, then were told that the gold was excellent quality and super cheap because there is no middle man. And that the factory accepted visa, MasterCard... So we awkwardly looked around at all the gold necklaces and rings.. Then became annoyed at the salesmen, so we bolted for the door.


 An amazing, huge, Ancient Greek City Dating back to the 10th century BC. We were impressed by how intact and enormous the ruins were. It was neat to have a guide tell us stories as we walked the two hours through the sites.

 We explored the Great theatre which could hold 25,000 people!!..

 The lower "Agora" a textile and food market..

  Main Street...

 The hospital which apparently sent the palliative patients home, as they didn't want patients dying in their hospital, as it brought bad luck to the hospital!??.,...

Library of Celsius was reconstructed after a massive earthquake in the 70's..

 The "so called pleasure house.".,
(No picture of this x-rated area)lol

And the public aired toilets with a nice view of city centre..

Apparently the locals would hang out at the common toilets to discuss current events and politics. Oddly enough, they had slaves sit on the marble toilets to keep them warm enough for the locals to sit on in the winter!,!'?!..
(How crazy is that??..for the record.. Ashton has offered to pay me to warm up the toilet seat for him! Haha...easy peasy!) I'm offering my warming services.. $50/hour-$150/hour.. Depending on the external temperature!

So ya.. Ephesus is one of the greatest surviving Graeco-Roman cities we've seen.

 A couple hours later we pulled into Pamukkale town for the night. A three star hotel with a buffet was our night. After a long day of driving, heat, touring, we were zonked.

Up early we were taken to a Turkish treat factory where we tested the local treats and were encouraged to buy buy buy. (We caved!..and bought a box. $7/box. Damn sweet tooth!)..and we later realized we paid 6X the price!! The local supermarkets sold a box for $1 each!,?.......GR
We actually thought we were getting a deal because our first night in Turkey we picked out three small turkish treats and paid $7CDN!!!! Now that was a rip off!,! So we figured a whole box for the same price must be a steal off a deal....FAIL
 Finally, the place we've been looking forward to....

A unique place where calcium mineral water cascades over the edge of the mountain and forms gleaming white terraces, which is now a world heritage site.

 Pamukkale, which has been used as a spa since the second century BC, literally means "cotton castle" in Turkish.

 The white pools consist of shallow chalky, mineral water, which we were allowed to swim in,

  After playing in the pools, we got back in the van and headed to a "traditional turkish show".. Which was a leather factory fashion show!!.???.
 The models didn't look happy, and the leather was incredibly expensive. At least we got free tea. Then we were to look through the factory and encouraged too buy buy buy. (I must say, I laughed at a metallic green leather jacket then the sales guy insisted i Try it on!.. I fell in love.. But once I found out it was $700CDN, I fell out of love..and we bolted to the exit..

4 hours later we arrived back to our accommodation In Bodrum.. Again very zonked...and now sick. (One of the German girls coughed the whole bus ride, and now I have a head cold)

The next couple days we walked to the nearby beach and walked around the marina promenade. As well we researched by the pool.

The nearby beach was literally lined chair to chair with sunbathers. We walked quite a ways to find a patch of beach to spread our sarong. That's when we had a doggie friend! This poor stray dog clung by our side all afternoon, she swam with us, drank water while we drank beer, and played fetch. She was a lovely dog, I just hope she isn't one of the English strays.

Anyways it's starting to heat up! Temperatures are reaching 30s and were loving the warmth!
We have hit a new record.. Between loosing, and breaking sunglasses, we have gone through 13 pairs!!!
 In all, Pamukkale was super neat! Amazing, beautiful and unique. It was so worth the drive!.. And Definatly worth the packaged tour we were on.

 Now that we have witnessed Turkey's eye candy, we are ready to move on to..

Croatia! And Montenegro!!..

Ha ha ha..

1 comment:

  1. Hi , Its is really a wonderful place . Thanks for sharing these fabulous pictures .
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