barefoot at pamukkale (cotton castle)
What we’re talking about is a unique geological incident which has produced a hillside covered in rivulets of white - brilliantly white - limestone, also known as the “cotton castle”.
It’s truly surprising and unlike anything I’ve seen.
However, the best thing about Pamukkale was that it was an incredibly fun place to visit - particularly at sunset when the site is abuzz with families.
This was a great leveller. Local and international tourists alike, shoeless over the white limestone, making the gentle climb a tactile, fun and shared activity.
Wading barefoot through the pools of milky water, it made everyone there that little more childlike and the experience that bit more wondrous.
As a natural wonder, Pamukkale may be past its heyday. The pools in which bathing was previously allowed have mostly dried up, and the flow of water has subsided. However, when we visited at sunset, it was the people who came out to appreciate the hillside that made it memorable.
Approaching from the south entrance, the walk to the to top takes about 20 minutes.