My last stop before heading back home was Laodicea, (yet) another ancient city’s ruins. The city was founded in the around mid third century BC but only became part of the Roman empire around 130 BC. It was an important centre for trade due to its location on the crossroad of trade routes.
Hidden amongst the mountains about an hour drive from Denizli, the ancient city Aphrodisias opens up to another world with its green fields and local wildlife (birds and frogs mostly) amidst which some of the original structures still stand. The overgrown paths and thickets certainly give an exotic and wild feel to the whole site, which probably could be annoying for the casual tourist but it just made me fall in love with the place even more. Thank god I wore my good walking shoes at the last minute, due to the rain from the day before, the terrain was quite marshy and slippery in some places.
Barely able to keep our eyes open by the time we reached Denizli, we were quite relieved that our arranged pick up to our hotel in Pamukkale was on time. We had chosen to stay in Denizli for the night rather than Kuşadası not only so we could get an early start in Pamukkale to beat the crowds but also to take advantage of the free lift from the bus station which most hotels/pensions offer. There is also a frequent dolmuş service from Denizli to Pamukkale but we went for the hassle free option. We’re staying at the Dört Mevsim Hotel and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the service. The staff have been nothing but helpful and usually give quite good advice and tips towards exploring the area. There are several places to stay at in Pamukkale and usually you can just turn up on the day and find yourself a bed somewhere without booking in advance.
Despite our plan of an early start, getting out of bed was harder than we expected. After breakfast, the hotel manager dropped us by the southern gate of Hierapolis where we started our day visiting the ancient site, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and finishing down in the travertines and the antique pool.