it's worth the trip to turkey

those of you from winnipeg will recognize the slogan "it's worth the trip". usually it refers to the trip from winnipeg to steinbach when you are purchasing a new vehicle. in this instance i will use it to refer to the long, extremely expensive trip we made from greece to turkey. a long story that doesn't really make for interesting reading. what you need to know is that we made it...finally!

our first stop was istanbul. we spent 3 days there before taking a bus to denizli. we will tell you more about istanbul in a later post as we are due back in a couple of days before flying to dubai. denizli was a means to an end. it's not a tourist destination in itself but we stayed there because it was close to pamukkale (one of jason's coveted UNESCO sites). AND because we found a couchsurfer, patricia aka wizzy, to host us. so even though denizli wasn't the reason for our trip south it ended up being a memorable stop.

pamukkale, turkish for cotton castle, has been a tourist destination for many years...like a millenium! in the last 50 years hotels have been built and then torn down when UNESCO declared it a world heritage site.

our tour of the area started at the hilltop ruins of hierapolis, an ancient city. wizzy instructed us to stay on the domus until it reached the top, walk through the ruins and then walk down the travertines. good advice as it meant we could walk downhill all the way :)

ancient building surrounded by the cottony white travertine

theatre of hierapolis

spas are not modern inventions. the greeks, the romans and the byzantines all recognized the benefits of the natural thermal pools of the area. they settled here to take advantage of the curing properties of the baths. today, turkish people and visitors from around the world, come to swim and bathe among the ancient ruins. unfortunately we were not among them. we had to pay an entry fee to the hierapolis and pamukkale which did not cover the cost to enter the pools. due to budgetary concerns we did not pay the extra 23 lira.

thermal pool with ancient ruins

we did, however, walk sans footwear, down the travertine and dip our feet into the hot spring pools...well, the runoff of the hot springs. the pools in the travertine ranged from cool to lukewarm. some of the water running down the channels was quite warm but nothing i would call hot. by the time we reached the bottom my feet were tender from the rough travertine and pretty much frozen.

jay standing near a waterfall from the hot spring above

patterns in the travertine left by the water flowing downhill

stalactites formed by the calcium deposits

our next destination was izmir, a port city on the aegean sea. jason was not well while we were in izmir. he caught my cold and then it got worse. he ended up with a nasty chest cold that keep us both up at night. so during the day we lay low and only ventured out a couple of times. our cs hosts, barbara and jeff, were very understanding and help nurse him back to health.

our first day in izmir we wandered down through the traditional market place called kemeralti. as we walked through the streets shop owners and touts hollered at us to buy their stuff. buying stuff hasn't really been high on our list of priorities as it would mean we would have to carry it for months and months. we did stop and watch this candy man make colourful taffy pops. he had a few people waiting patiently as he skillfully piled six different colours of sweet goo on a stick.

candy man and his sickly sweet goo

how could we...i mean...I...pass it up? i couldn't do it. so for 2 lira i got my own pop and for the record it was disgusting.

me eating the candy pop...not exactly enjoying it

on our way over to the bostanli side of izmir to our hosts' place the first night we saw an incredibly beautiful sunset. the red was brilliant, rebounding off the mountains and reflecting off the water as we watched from the ferry. we went back the next night but sadly were not treated to the same beauty...but the fisherman made it an interesting shot.

gule gule,


Emms said...

I need to know - how are you keeping all of the locations and foreign words straight?

Once in awhile, you could say - We were at this awesome place with cool white stone, and flowing water". ;)

nah, I'm kidding. But really, how are you keeping it straight?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sorry to hear you were sick Jay. Hope you are feeling better now. From the pics and the write up it certainly was 'worth the trip'. Keep up the good postings and enjoy yourselves

corina said...

um...we can usually keep the locations and foreign words straight while we are here and using them daily. but once we hit another country the newly learned words and phrases quickly replace the ones from the last country. location names are easier but ask us to remember if we took a bus there or a plane and we can't remember a thing ;p

Anonymous said...

again great photos. Stay well and enjoy the beautiful world. love mom

Monica said...

I didn't get a chance to visit Denizli when I was in Istanbul but now it looks like I might need to make another trip back to Turkey. I love that pictures with the ancient ruins in the thermal pool. That's just amazing.

Anonymous said...

Hi you two. When would be a good time to SKYPE you? some times I send anonymous and sometimes I seen to 'get it right' Love

Anonymous said...

the 3rd pic looks like there is a white grand piano in the water,