The next morning I packed up and left Selçuk, but not before saying bye to my new friends of Wallabees, who told me to get ahold of them back in Holland where we’ll grab a smoke. The plan was to see Pammukale and Hieropolis, then continue to Çannakale that evening. I bought the ticket (55YTL) the night before and hoped all was working out, but it seemed complicated. I was to take the 9.00 bus from Selçuk to Pammukale, getting there around noon. To get to Çannakale, I had to come back through Selçuk, but I was to get on the bus at 18.00 in Denzili, so I had to take a dolmuş (1.75YTL) from Pannukale to Denzili around 16.30-17.00. We’ll see how it goes.
So, Pammukale (5YTL). Once again, the landscape of Turkey amazes me. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really on the moon! So many elements seem so lunar… Pammukale is famous because of its calcium waters, which have created white travertine shelves that look almost like snow, but it’s rock. Pools formed on the plateaus of the shelves, and were used as spa baths. I decided not to bathe, but walked through the warm, milky water. I also decided not to pay 18YTL to swim in the Antique Pool, but rather to see the ruins of Hieropolis.
Maybe not as impressive and preserved as Ephesus, I really enjoyed the Hieropolis ruins. Also covering a fairly expansive area, there are some nice treats. I particularly liked Frontinus Street with the Arch of Domition, the enormous Necropolis with tombs strewn across the field, and the well preserved Theatre with an impressively decorated stage. But the one that really awed me was the Martyrium of St. Philip. I kind of found it by accident, not realizing it was up on the hill until I saw someone emerge from the area. But I’m glad I did. High up with a fantastic view, nobody else around as most don’t bother to make the trek, the structure is beautifully architectured and preserved.
After leaving and grabbing a döner and beer, I caught my dolmuş to Denizli, 20 min away and got my bus. But, as I figured, there was confusion. They said my ticket was for Selçuk to Çannakale, so I had to pay 15YTL for the Denizli to Selçuk part. None of the bus workers spoke much- or really any- English, so rather than try to argue, and not even knowing for sure I was right, I just paid. Luckily, when we got to Selçuk, the guy that sold me my ticket, who’d I’d been talking to every day while in Selçuk, was still working. I asked him if I needed to pay and he said no, talked to the driver, and I got the money back. Moral of the story, make friends with the bus guys!
I arrived in Çannakale around 4.30 in the morning and, deciding it not worth getting a hostel, found a bench to sleep on. It was a warm night and I kept my pack under my head with no problems. When landscapers began cutting lawns and trimming hedges around 7.00 I was able to ignore it and still sleep, but by 9.00 the morning sun was beating down and making it too hot to sleep. I made my way to a dolmuş to take me to the ruins of Troy, which was fairly unimpressive. I admit, I was warned of this, but still decided to find out myself. They’ve discovered 9 Troys, each a layer from a different era. In reality, it was a lot of stone walls and speculation and drawings of what things may have looked like, with the only really substantial ruin being a theatre. Granted, it is still a fairly new uncovering, but compared to Efes and Hieropolis… well, there just is absolutely no comparison.
I went back to Çannakale and bought a ticket back to İstanbul leaving at 18.00, and was able to leave my pack in the bus office while I wandered the town until departure. Many people use Çannakale to go see Gallipoli, but, not being Aussie or Kiwi or knowing anything about the battle, I had little interest and decided to skip it.
Tags: Asia, Travel, Turkey