Day 10: Invasion of the Ajummas

Pammukkale: We bid farewell to Atilla’s with another early morning and another yummy breakfast made by his mum. I’d like to think Dusty was even more enthusiastic about us this morning, making leaving more sad!

We hopped on the bus with our new Irish friends, Edie and Andy, and our tour folk, Hakan the driver and Nigar, our guide.  The drive to Pammukkale was most enjoyable,  featuring  blue skies, olive trees,  rolling hills and an old man in rubber boots riding a donkey along the roadside.

Upon arrival to Pamukkale,  we had our lunch,  another tourist buffet. This time there was quite the assortment of desserts, for which I was the appointed guinea pig. We had a time trying to decide about the bright red and blue jello-esque squares set on a thin crust… no dessert ought to be that color. Just no.

From the buffet we then made the obligatory call upon the local craftspeople who have an arrangement with our tour company,  where we learned the basics of how they take semi-precious stones and turn them into things like wine glasses, mortar and pestles and various other objets d’art. As always, I found the demo interesting and luckily,  unlike with the carpets, there was no awkward sitting around or pressures to buy, so soon we were on our merry way.

Arriving at Pamukkale & Hierapolis was spectacular. The white calcium carbonate cliffs with the ruins set behind them are just beautiful.  Nigar gave us a quick low-down on the site,  created by Pergammon, and showed us what some of the buildings would have looked like,  then set us free to explore.  I tried some of the water from Cleopatra’s pool, which is said to have the ability to make you more beautiful. Not sure if it’s true but worth a try!

We wandered about the ruins which are b beautiful much like those at Ephesus but I preferred the wild feeling of those at Hierapolis.  The poppies are in bloom amongst the ruins and it made for quite a beautiful scene. It was actually quite hot out and we shed down to one layer. Lovely!

We began to drift back over to the Pamukkale cliffs where Leah soon found out what happens when you walk somewhere you’re not meant to: you get the whistle!  So yeah, she quickly moved back to the appointed area, fearing further whistle action.

We walked back over to the area you can walk on,  and tried it out. It’s actually quite hard to walk on in many spots and the water in the top pools is a bit cold. There was a large group of ajummas touring the pools at the same time, making me very nostalgic for Korea. One of them I walked up beside was very impressed with my height. She was insisting on taking a picture with me,  which of course I could understand all of,  and I was speaking Korean back to her.  The funny part of it all was that the strange thing to the ajumma was not the fact that this white chick was speaking Korean but that this white chick was so tall! Ah I miss Koreans.

With that, we hopped back on the bus and into town. Our bus for Fethiye didn’t leave for a bit so we did some errands: snacks and the post office! A super nice fellow helped me box up my item as apparently there are not envelopes for sale like in Canada.

Returning back to the travel agency,  we quickly boarded our minibus for the mad dash to the station. No one had told us our bus left from the main bus terminal at 5 and we had to drop off others at the train station on the way!  Luckily we made it and our little minibus,  or dolmus, took off for Fethiye.

The drive through the country was great.  I even saw a horse-drawn wagon!  We had a beautiful sunset and then the ride just started to drag on. We came to realize that perhaps we’d been put on the milk run to Fethiye and our 2 – ish hour ride soon became 4.
Once we got to Fethiye finally,  we’d expected to be able to just “rock on up” as Atilla put it, to V-Go’s but after much confusion and a helter-skelter dolmus ride,  we discovered it was not actually open….
At this point it was like 9:45pm and our kind dolmus driver took pity on us. We drove with him to the end of the line then he sacrificed his break time to drive back sooner,  albeit at like 10km/hr. We saw Fethiye Guesthouse,  which we knew was open,  so got him to stop and we disembarked.  Finally we had a place for the night!

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