Aug 9, 2015

Travertine Terrace

We breached the castle in the sky

To enter the ancient city of Hierapolis, we must breach the Cotton Castle. We climbed the rising travertine terrace barefoot, sharp calcium carbonate deposits gently prodding our soles as soothing opaque white warm water from the nearby hot springs rushes down the hill. The white rocky slope overlooks a turquoise lake as strong blue mountains guard the horizon like sentinels.

As early as the 2nd century BC, throngs of patrons journeyed to these thermal spas, healing centers where doctors treated their patients. We cleansed our scars with the cool water of the travertine pool. We were like wandering giants, clouds of white powder rising with every step, cool white carbonate gel crushed between our toes.

We were welcomed by the humble ruins of Hierapolis, crumbling stone structures, remnants of the great Thracian earthquake of 1354. The villagers will never find us here.

Denizli Province, Pamukkale, Turkey

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