|This looks an awful lot like snow and ice cold water, eh?|
Such thoughts, however, would be wrong. We are still in Turkey, turkey. And I'm standing aside a hot spring-fed travertine pool in the temperate-climated town of Pamukkale.
|A view of the terraced travertine pools.|
Pamukkale, which means "cotton castles," contains a natural formation of terraced calcium carbonate deposits, which were formed as water flowed from nearby hot springs. The calcium deposits make the terraces appear as though they are snow-covered.
|I strike my pose.|
|Ferit strikes a pose, too...|
|...and then walks along the travertine pathway.|
Although people have been bathing in the travertine pools for thousands of years, a boost to tourism in the mid-20th century resulted in major damage to the travertine formations. It's hard to believe, but a road had once been constructed right through the terraces to help tourists better view the cotton castles.
|A view of the expansive travertines.|
Before the destruction caused by tourism in the mid-20th century,
the travertines looked far more white and pure.
When the travertine-covered hillside was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, the road was removed and efforts were made to restore the natural formation. Today, visitors are limited access to a certain part of the cotton castles, and wearing shoes while walking atop the deposits is prohibited.
|Tourists walking barefooted along the established pathway.|
|When walking through the travertine pools, |
the milky deposits that settled at the bottom of the pools were quite slippery.
The dried travertine surface, on the other hand, offered a nice, grippy surface.
A photo of our lower halves...
|...and a photo of our upper-halves.|
|I couldn't resist the opportunity for a yoga pose...|
|...though I had a hard time keeping my balance on the rough surface.|
Our visit to Pamukkale is what a call a "two-for." Not only did we get to see the cotton castles, but we also got to see the ruins of the ancient Greco-Roman and Byzantine city of Hierapolis. Located just above the cotton castles, Hierapolis was originally constructed in the early 2nd century BC as a thermal spa.
|Me, walking among the ruins at Hierapolis.|
|Cool peeps among the ruins.|
|I love the photo of this ruin.|
If you look closely, you'll see delicate grasses standing tall atop the tomb.
|And I love this photo, too, with colorful flowers in the foreground,|
a row of tomb ruins in the midground, and mountains rising in the background.