24/3/ 2015- Continue 3rd day
We left Ephasus with memories kept in our photos and continued our journey to Pamukalle. It took us 3 1/4 hours to reach Pamukalle. We had our lunch and solat Jama' Takdim on the way. From there we dropped by at a Turkish delight shop. It was fascinating... A shop with all kinds of Turkish delight with variety of flavours. Before buying, we had to listen to the information about the varities of Turkish delight they have here. We were impressed when the lady started speaking in Malay. This proved how frequent Malaysian or Indonesian came to visit Turkey...until some of them learned to speak our language for them to make a sale and be able to communicate well with the customer especially from Malaysia. So we too should be proud of our Bahasa Malaysia. We were served with pomegranate tea and at the same time tasted some of the samples of Turkish delight while listening to her explanation. Turkish delight came with different flavours ie: pistachio, hazelnut, almond, sesame, orange and few other flavours. She said.."Beli lima percuma satu"😉. The taste was ok I would say...sweet...but not too sweet. So we bought some before continue our journey.
On the way we saw some stall selling strawberry and other fruits. Mustafa was kind enough to stop at one of the stall after we showed interest to buy strawberry. Bila sampai je kat kedai buah tu semua serbu dekat strawberry. Sampai panic orang yang jual buah tu kena serbu dek orang-orang Malaysia yang teruja tengok fresh strawberry. We can taste it as well and it was so sweet and delicious. It cost 10TL per kg. Ida asked me to buy 1 kg...but after berebut-rebut pilih tu...I just bought about 600g so it cost me about 6 TL. That was enough for us to enjoy eating our strawberry in the bus.
While we were busy enjoying our strawberry in the bus,we were puzzled why Mustafa pulled over his bus to the side and stopped. We saw that he was discussing something with the police officers and later came back to the bus and opened up the door where we kept all our luggage and took out a carton of mineral water and passed it to the police officer. Rupa nya dia kena saman dek polis sebab berhenti tadi tepi jalan bila kami singgah beli strawberry. Kesian Mustafa kena saman sebab kami. I guessed may be water is considered valuable here in Turkey.
We stopped for toilet break about halfway to Pamukalle. Most of the time we had to pay when we used public toilet here in Turkey. It cost 1TL per entrance. So being Malaysian, I would suggest if you intend to visit Turkey, please make sure you have enough 1TL coin for every toilet break...hahaa😉.
We continued about another 1 1/2 hour before we saw from far a white hills. We were so excited, at first we thought it was a hill full of snow. Only then we realised it was only localised to one area. We had seen along the way some areas still had snow on top of the mountain...but this was different. Finar explained to us it was not snow, instead it was a calcium deposited hills and we were on the way going to this area. The route going there was winding...but once the bus went uphill, we can see beautiful scenery along the way to this ancient City of Hierapolis (Cotton Castle).
Ok... Let me introduce you to Pamukalle. Pamukalle means "cotton castle" in Turkish. If I heard correctly ...Pamu means cotton and kalle means castle. The city contained hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. Travertines was a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. It often had fibrous or concentric appearance and exist in white, tan, cream-coloured and even rusty varieties. It was formed by a process of raid precipitation of calcium carbonate. The Ancient Greece-Roman and Byzantine city of Hierapolis (Holy City) was built on top of the white "castle". Enough for introduction right...so now we were ready to visit this place.
We reached there about 4.30 pm and from the entrance we walked through the previous ancient city. What we saw was only ruined of the old city. Some areas were under reconstruction...so we were not able to explore this area. It was quite a big area. Some areas looked like garden and we enjoyed our evening walk. From far we saw paragliders flying. We walked further up and reached the Pamukalle hot spring.
It was beautiful...Subhanallah and the Creator must be more beautiful than His creation. A place like you never saw before...really breath taking. Not much water in the pool... Water flowing from the vessels there for people to soak their feet in the hot spring.To enter this area...one should take off one's shoes to avoid contamination and damage to this area. Ida and I decided not to go in...a little bit leceh to take off our shoes and socks. The rest went in and soaked their feet..supposed this hot spring will have medical benefit. I laughed when heard Finar said people came here for various medical reasons including to be cured from Diabetes...can you imagine people still believe in just by soaking their feet they can be cured from ailments without taking care of their diet.
Ida and I on the other hand continued having our own tour around the area. On and off we heard Malay speaking visitors as well as typical Malaysian or may be Singaporean Chinese speaking visitors... You can detect them by their dialect and the last word 'laa' or 'maa'...😁.
I had seen pictures of this place before and could not understand how can people just wear bikini sitting on the snow...it really looked like snow from far. It was incredible. From uphill, we can see there was a beautiful lake at the foothills. Its water was blue and in the centre we can see a small island.
We walked following the path of other tourist and then made a turn back to the exit point. Owh ya...another Turkish words we learned here...'giris' - enter and 'cikis'-exit. All of us met at our meeting point at 6.30pm and then going back to the bus.
On the way down, our bus stopped near the lake I had mentioned earlier. However, because it was already late, we decided not to go down and the bus continued its journey to our hotel. We checked in to Richmond Pamukalle hotel about 7pm. After dinner we went up to our room...tomorrow we will have another long journey.
See again tomorrow 😴