There’s a mosque around every corner in Turkey. Riding along we could always see one in every small town and sometimes more than one. Of course this means that one always has a good chance to be in earshot of the five daily calls to prayer via the loudspeakers mounted high on the spires and strategically pointed in four directions. We were not exempt to the call to prayer and our wakeup call came around 0500 with the first prayer call. I wondered why the daily times varied and learned that the prayers are based on the sun’s position (which changes daily and is location dependent). The basic premise is that there will always be a continuous call for prayer all round the world.
We checked out of the hotel and left our riding gear and bike at the hotel so we could comfortably hike around the area. The town itself is fairly small but nevertheless, it’s a big tourist attraction complete with all the folks trying to make a quick buck off visitors with guide books, post cards and camel pictures.
Pamukkale's "General Store" complete with some small computer/electronic items.
For a fee you can get your picture with/on the camel
The "backup" camel we found tied up down a back road. They swap out the camels every other day.
I failed to mention this in Greece that solar water heating was used everywhere we traveled in Greece and Turkey with roof-top contraptions such as the one below.
Solar heating! I can see Aisling and Aron building one of these now - all they need is sun!
Those that get some of the tourism income have a comfortable living – those that don’t live in houses similar to the one below.
Having strolled around the town it was off to the slopes and the main attraction! One can easily spend a whole day in Pamukkale as it’s a 2-for-1 attraction. The main attraction (for me) was the Pamukkale calcium deposits that make the hillsides look like a snow area complete with hot springs.
No shoes are allowed – barefoot only on the calcium surfaces so we had to remove our shoes on the benches provided. I thought it would be slippery but it wasn’t as long as you walked carefully. Some of it was a little rough but your feet would get used to it after a while.
No shoes allowed on the calcium slopes!
"Mommy's flip flop fall in water" (inside joke)
Pictures don’t do this place justice – kind of like the Grand Canyon – so beautiful but very hard to describe. For me, it was one of the highlights of the trip.
Ger making her way up the slopes!
No Skiing here!
The water was crystal clear with a unique blue tint.
John with his temporary Capri Pants!
In addition to the geological uniqueness, the ancient city of Hierapolis-Pamukkale is adjacent to the travertine slopes.
A stroll through the ruins provides many opportunities to observe the wildlife and flowers.
Poppies and wildflowers everywhere at the site
One of the artifacts in the Hieropolis Museum
One of the many artifacts on display in the Hieropolis Museum Grounds
The amphitheater is well preserved and, as you can see, they are still doing some excavations/restorations.
Ger catching a few rays on the way back down the slopes - I got a little too much sun on my face!
We could have easily spent a whole day here butas lunchtime approached it was time to return to the hotel, saddle up and head North towards our next destination!
Goodbye Pamukkale - till next time!
Shortly after lunch we headed off for our next destination – Cavdarhisar and the ancient ruins of Aizanoi conveniently approximately half-way to Istanbul (our follow-on destination). Today also started what was to be several days of WIND – Ger was not a happy camper on the back and kept beating on me to SLOW DOWN!
Enroute we almost got stuck on a dirt road while trying to turn around but between the two of us we were able to manouver the beast back onto solid ground.
Almost needed help to get out of here!
Shortly after we stopped for a late lunch at a rural bus station that had a small mom-and-pop (well actually, mom, daughter and grandma) shop with a small grill. We didn’t speak Turkish and they didn’t speak English so I haven’t a clue what meat was cooking on the grill but it looked good so we gave it a whirl and it sure hit the spot – along with some Chi Tea of course!
"Mom" cooking up a storm!
Grandma making the Chai Tea
Ger enjoying her potluck meal and Chai Tea
Shortly before we reached our destination for the night we passed through the town of Gediz and the local market was still in full swing – we couldn’t pass it up. We may as well have arrived in town in a flying saucer as we were a real novelty with our packed bike and motorcycle gear. All the kids wanted to say “Hello” and take a look at the bike. I’m not surprised because for the over 600 miles that we have ridden in Turkey I only saw a handful of foreign-registered cars (only from Romania and Bulgaria) and no other touring motorcycles! Imagine what we looked like rolling into this small town?
I found a place to safely park and while Ger explored the market I took a Chai Tea break and babysat the bike while doing “show-and-tell” with the local youth.
Anyone want to buy a horse?
This Vendor wanted Ger to take his picture - free advertising! Please support him if you are ever at the Gediz market!
Market, Gediz Turkey
Market, Gediz Turkey
The only hotel I could identify in Cavdarhisar was a 4-star so we decided to splurge the $80 and stay there (had no other choice!). I felt kind of silly allowing the bellhop to help me carry in our tank bag and waterproof duffelbag- a first for him I bet!
Arriving up to the 4-star hotel in style!
Even though the hotel had a restaurant and bar we decided to walk around the area and found a nice little cafe to sample the local cuisine prior to getting a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow, the ruins of Aizanoi and then on to Istanbul!