I had no idea what a travertine was when I saw a mention of it in my Lonely Planet Turkey guide this summer, so I promptly skipped that section and continued earmarking other things to see and do in Turkey. After a week or so in Ankara, I was given a key to my shared office and consequently stunned by the tourism poster hanging inside.
Where is THAT?!
Turns out it’s about 7 hours southwest of Ankara, and a good place for a girl to visit during the end-of-Ramadan (or Ramazan, as they call it here) holiday. So I went to Pamukkale for the long weekend and found out what a travertine is.
A travertine is a rock formation that accumulates around hot springs because of all the calcium carbonate in the water.
It looks like snow and ice, but it’s really a bunch of chalky white rocks.
And in Pamukkale they’ve become so spectacular that they are now a World Heritage site.
They’re also located next to the Roman ruins of Hieropolis.
And about 90-minutes away from Aphrodesius, another ancient Roman city.
So yes, I went on a 4-day trip because I saw a travel poster. To put this in perspective, let me reveal that I started applying for jobs in Turkey because I watched Anthony Bourdain eat Turkish food in Istanbul. Good reasons on which to base life decisions? Maybe, maybe not. Am I happy I went to Pamukkale and have been dining on Turkish cuisine for 3 weeks? Definitely.