After all that excitement, we needed to recover our energies, so we went back to Villa Rhapsody and had our much needed breakfast by the pool. This family hotel is one that I really must recommend. Located in a quiet and peaceful village, and yet just ten minutes away from the most beautiful beaches. Again, I was sorry to leave so soon ...
After saying goodbye to our lovely hosts, we drove around KayaKoy for a while (the ghost village on top looks really eerie) before heading out to Pamukkale.
Again, the road trip was safe and without major problems (apart from a speeding ticket, but quite well deserved). We took the road up to Denizli, and from there we detoured to Aphrodisias. We had been told that these ruins were almost as nice as the ones in Ephesus (Efes) which we would be visiting soon, but much less crowded (quite true). The ruins are very impressive, there's a well preserved Theatre and Bouleuterion, and the beautiful Temple of Aphrodite, but I was particularly blown over the stadium (the only one I've seen so far) which had a capacity for 30000 people.
It was late afternoon when we finished exploring everything, so we drove off to Pamukkale almost at once.. We wanted to see it by sunset, which seems to be the best time of the day. Pamukkale, or cotton castle, is one of the most known tourist attractions in Turkey. It is a natural formation of white travertine rock, caused by the hot water that falls from the springs above (water temperature of around 35ºC) and which causes calcium salts to be deposited on the hillside and harden to form white pools of varying dimensions. The site was badly damaged by tourism up until a few years ago, when it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, and restoration slowly started.
Another attraction are the ruins of Hierapolis above the pools. Since we arrived so late we didn't go up to see them, and we would be visiting so many ruins during the next couple of days that we decided to skip these. Overall it is an interesting site, but I can't say that it's worth visiting on purpose. But since it was more or less on our direction, it was a great stopover on the way to Ephesus.
For that night we chose to stay at the Venus Hotel, run by friendly Karin and Ibrahim. The rooms are very spacious (we had four beds in our room, and I loved the touch of the bright pink covers ;) and dinner was again delicious. This is another small family hotel, maybe not as good as some of the others we stayed in, but it was also much cheaper and therefore a good value for money. Ibrahim even convinced us to buy one of the tablecloths they had for sale, a great souvenir to bring back home.