We ended our visit here in their museum. It was very impressive. The museum consists mostly of of sculptures recovered from the ruins. It also had many old coins, jewelry and pottery. We were very happy because it was air conditioned. After leaving we headed to our pension to rest and grab some dinner.
The next morning we walked to the Pammukkale sight. The hillside is completely covered in white travertine terraces. The Turks have dubbed the geological landscape the "cotton castle". This natural wonder is caused by a spring saturated with dissolved calcium bicarbonate, bubbling up from the mountain. As the water surges over the edge of the plateau and cools, carbon dioxide is given off and the carbonate hardens as hard as chalk. The spring itself emerges in what once was the center of the ancient city of Hierapolis. The therapeutic properties of the water has attracted visitors before it actually became a town during the second century BC. Since many people came here close to their death, the site also includes some incredible tombs for those who died here.
One of our favorite part of visiting this sight was being able to swim in the ancient pools that are still intact. The water is very warm and slightly bubbly. The entire pool is strewn with old pillars and such that you can climb over and sit on. It was pretty amazing.
One of the benefits of renting a car, rather than taking the bus, is the freedom to stop when and where you want. On our drive back to Izmir, we detoured to another ancient site by the name of Nyssa. Nyssa is rarely visited and very inexpensive. It was less than $2 to enter. Like Aprodiasis, very little excavation has taken place at this sight. We had to hike through the woods and over huge pillars to go from one area to the next. And we were the only people there. Nyssa was a flourishing city in the first century BC.
Best memory of the day had to be watching this women take her cows out for a walk through this tiny village. Aaaahh, another great day in Turkey!