Hierapolis and Pamukkale + Bus to Selcuk

Once in Denizli, we found a pharmacy that was open late, and aquired some steri-strips to attempt to hold together Katie’s foot laceration.  In hindsight, Katie admits that she should have gotten stitches, but in the moment the thought of going through the process of stitches in a foreign country did not seem appealing.

We got up early the next morning to join a guided tour to Hierapolis and Pamukkale.  Our tour group ended up being a lot larger than we expected, but it was generally okay.

Our guide showing us the Hierapolis layout

Katie is not so sure about going into the crypt-like structure

Main street of Hierapolis

Hierapolis amphitheatre

Many people believe that Apollo’s Pool near Hierapolis and Pamukkale has medical benefits.  It looks crowded, and we did not feel strongly about entering the pool, so we kept walking.

The water stats for Apollo’s Pool

Crowded Apollo’s Pool

Our guide convinced us to try drinking the calcium-rich water feeding Apollo’s Pool

Pamukkale is a bit of a sad story.  Although beautiful in pictures, it is somewhat heartbreaking in person if you realize why many parts of the terraces are not white and water-filled.  Too much overuse by tourists over the years caused the discolouration and scarred, empty pools.  Although the site is now managed better – walking is limited to particular areas, hotels were removed, irrigation was restored to a more natural flow, and swimming in prohibited in pools (except some ‘rebuilt’ pools, although it is not made clear to tourists that these are not natural pools) – it is difficult to not believe that it might be better to keep tourists completely off of the calcium-rich rocks and instead let them enjoy the views from afar.  At the very least, there should be some honest signage about the effect tourism has played on the current state of the site.  It is sad that such a brittle natural beauty was so terribly harmed by tourism – to us, Pamukkale should serve as a warning as to what can happen when delicate eco-systems are exploited.

A recovering pool, with a tourist boardwalk above it

One of the dry, discoloured areas they have ‘given up on’ and now encourage tourists to walk on

Our bus to Selcuk

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