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Our next stop was a natural wonder, cliffs and pools of Pamukkale, coated in white calcium by mineral springs that flow over them. Posters for Turkey make this look like a vast area, but it's really fairly small, as this distant shot showing about a goodly portion of the site makes clear.

Pamukkale used to be a much bigger destination, with hotels being built all over the cliffside, and people going to bathe in the pools as the the ancient Romans used to do. But the waters were polluted and diverted, and the site was almost destroyed before the government decided to make it a national park, demolish the hotels, and restrict access.

Mobs of Russian and European tourists still flock here on tour buses from nearby Denizili. Even the Pamukkale bus line, which we used, dumped us into a minibus for the last leg to the rather forlorn little town of Pamukkale itself. Few people now stay in the local hotels down below the cliffs, where bargains abound.

Access to the site is limited to those willing to walk barefoot over the often painfully rough calicified surface. A long line of Europeans in bikinis wincing their way along the rocks is reminiscent of Medieval penitents inching on their knees along the streets of Campostella to the cathedral. Don't take small children to this site unless you can carry them.

If we had understood the layout of the cliffside before starting we would have begun at the top, like the bus tours, and explored down from there.

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