Pamukkale means ‘cotton castle’ and refers to the beautiful white travertine rock terraces created by the natural hot springs there. People have bathed in the pools for thousands of years, and the Romans even built the ancient spa town (first spa town?) of Hierapolis. The hot spring pools that cover the mountainside are still intact, and all around them are the ruins of the Roman city. There’s even the remains of a grand Roman bath that we were able to swim in, amidst the fragments of statues.
The area is very touristy but it’s still a marvel to see. We scrambled around the Roman ruins, then near sundown we headed to the pools as the crowds thinned out.