After my drive, I silently said to Lady Venus, “This better be worth it. Just letting you know I made an effort here. Being real with ya.” It really was incredible though. It was an overcast day, with some short drizzle here and there on the ride up, but it had stopped by the time I got to the site. Just really breathtaking.
As you can sort of see in the last picture, people live very close to the site, you can see farm fields and I’ve read that the local shepherds let their animals graze on site.
In addition to the complex, there was a museum that held the many sculptures on site. These were in amazing condition, but you weren’t supposed to take pictures I believe. You can see some photos here, they are really unbelievable:
A teaser for you.
Just the whole thing was incredibly, incredibly breathtaking. If you go to Turkey, don’t miss Aphrodisias, it’s worth it! And, just so you know, I later learned that there are buses leaving every day (even in off-season) from Pamukkale to Aphrodisias, around 9am, and yes, you can go without signing up for the tour. Now you know. Actually, I just searched google and there’s suddenly a ton of info, and the wikitravel site for Aphrodisias has totally been redone. Good!
It started to rain just as I was leaving, so I got on my way to loop up to Pamukkale. I had at this point in my journey learned to drive with my flashers on, and let everyone pass me. I even learned how to get up to 3rd gear, but really wasn’t moving too fast. No worries, hey? It was starting to get dark though and I was again getting just the WEE bit impatient and anxious when I saw the sign I was looking for, for Pamukkale. Yay!
This road promptly led me off again in the direction of Darknowhere. I knew it would be some kilometers to the city, but it really seemed to be t-a-k-i-n-g f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
I eventually stopped at a tavern-restauranty thing after I went through what I THOUGHT was Pamukkale town like the directions had suggested. They said it was some ways up the road still. WTF? Okay, I kept driving. And driving. THEN the road started becoming very narrow, and dark, and up the side of a mountainy-hill-thingie. I know I sound like a crazy person but I was just a little anxious at this point, ‘coz it was a long, manual-driving-filled day, and I couldn’t see very well. I finally decided, screw it, I’m going to go up this road, and eventually I got to the other side of this windy path-jobbie and found that I had come upon Pamukkale after all, from the FAR NORTH entrance. Oops, but at least I knew where I was, and it was the correct place.
I was just so worn out at this point that I decided to stay at the first hotel I came to with reasonable parking instead of the hostel I booked somewhere inside the narrow streets of the town. The gods listened as I went down the hill and the first thing I saw entering the town proper was a huge open parking lot for Pamukkale, and a hotel named Hai Tur across the street. I parked parallel with the side of the road instead of head in (I STILL hadn’t figured out reverse yet) and asked the proprietor how much the room cost. He said, “Money is no object, don’t worry about money!” I was rather cross at this point and said as calmly as I could, I’m a student, money is an object, how much is the room. It wasn’t ridiculous (I think about $40 US) so I went for it, ate a little leftover of my dinner, and went to bed to get an early start the next morning.