ANATOLIA. Two routes
Pamukkale. Rain over Hierapolis Five o’clock in the morning. Even darker. My not yet had time to finally Wake up fellow travelers sleepily climb into the cabin of the bus. Finally, all the chairs are occupied, we start, and soon leave the still quiet Antalya. The way lies from the resort coast through the mountains — in the inner part of Turkey. Approximately so for most “beach” tourists tour begins in Pamukkale. The author of these lines to some extent lucky. He and a group of journalists went to the “Cotton castle” a little earlier than the beginning of the season — in April. Therefore, the impressions of the trip were not quite ordinary. Already in the mountains, a hundred kilometers from Antalya, nature made it clear — the greenhouse conditions of the coast are over. Wet snow, huge flakes lying on the panoramic windscreen, was the first greeting of the harsh Anatolian plateau. Finally, beyond Denizli, the road leads to the edge of the valley. Its opposite steep slope from afar catches the eye with its unusual whiteness. Soon the bus stops in the Parking lot. Before us — the entrance to one of the main tourist attractions of Asia Minor. We must pay tribute to the Turks. It is felt that they spare no effort to preserve this miracle of nature. And not by bans, but by effective organization of the visit. In acquaintance with Pamukkale, I would highlight three main points: the tour of the ancient city of Hierapolis; swimming in the so-called “Cleopatra bath”; a walk along the slope of the valley, composed of special mineral deposits. So, Hierapolis. “In the summer you can not walk around the city, — says the guide. — After all, until the group gets here, while will stop at the carpet factory, the Inferno begins. So we are in the summer tourists do not drive through the ruins. We show the amphitheater, and then give free time. Who’s splashing in the pool of Cleopatra, who wanders on the hill”. In April, the same time for a historical tour of Hierapolis. The air is fresh, lush green grass knee-deep, everywhere you can see the scarlet spots of flowering poppies. The minimum set of objects for inspection — well-preserved amphitheater and the remains of the Church IV-V centuries. It was built in memory of the Apostle Philip, who was killed once in Hierapolis. From the ruins of Hierapolis, the path leads to a structure resembling a summer cafe from a distance. Here, behind the oleanders and cypresses there is a hidden spring, the waters of which form the white ledges of Pamukkale. But before you get to the cliffs, the water fills the famous “Cleopatra’s pool”. What I took for a summer cafe from a distance turns out to be a tourist infrastructure around a lake with thermal water. And it is quite a decent infrastructure — there are locker rooms, walkways, tents, sheltering from the heat. In front of the entrance there is a stand informing about what the local hot “soda”consists of. Splashed in warm water (at the same time and skinned his knees on the ancient debris scattered in the shallow pool of Cleopatra) and go further. It’s time to see with your own eyes the landscape, replicated by millions of photos. So, highly mineralized water from the thermal spring rushes down into the valley. Most likely, it is on the slope of the water cools to a temperature at which the dissolved substances precipitate. And the features of the terrain on the slope already form a bizarre combination of snow-white baths filled with turquoise water. If you allow time and curiosity, do not just run after the crowd on the slope, made of travertine – so correctly called sediment, fallen out of the water. Look at the fine details. Grains of just hardened snow-white sediment dissect the flowing water on a grid of countless miniature diamonds. However, in my particular case to admire the game forces of nature for a long time did not work. The cold rain, which began on the pass in the mountains, did not let up. On the cold stone, his bare feet quickly froze. So I had to rush through the “pedestrian zone” small dashes — from one pool with warm water to another. In the cold air above the numerous pools of warm water there were clouds of steam. If you come to Pamukkale, do not be lazy to walk along the edge of the cliff in both directions from the area allowed for walks. You will not be able to get lost — everywhere laid neat track. The promenade will allow you to appreciate the scale of this creation of nature. It seems that the terraces stretch for miles. According to the guides, they are all formed from water flowing from a single source — the same that fills the pool of Cleopatra. Then do not know why the water has not forced its “normal” direction just in the valley. What made her contrary to the basic laws of physics to spread along the edge of the valley? It is a pity that we will not be able to see what Pamukkale looked like five or six thousand years ago, when there were neither these tracks nor Hierapolis… Olympos. Halabuda instead of hotels From Antalya to Kemer coast of the Lycian Peninsula is increasingly becoming a Kingdom of large beach hotels. But preserved there and places that were chosen by lovers of freedom and recreation. Moreover, it is worth visiting those guests of five-star whoppers who wanted to shake up and escape from the predictable world of all inclusive for a day. What only characteristics I have not read and heard enough about this place! Here are a couple of them: a giant chicken coop, inhabited by young people from all over the world, Turkish Goa and Phi Phi in one bottle. The color of these places feat Andrei Konchalovsky shoot here episodes of “Odyssey”, and the local hotels were on the map of the legendary backpacker routes “Istanbul–Kathmandu” and “Istanbul–Cairo”. We are talking about the Bay in the heart of the national Park “Olympos”. Excursions from hotels here do not suit, but you do not have to go out on the road, stop the bus-dolmus and tell the driver with a questioning intonation: “Olimpos?”. Will take you on the road to the appropriate pointer, and then go out and sit in the dolmus, going to the sea, or on a ride. To go about 10 km on a steeply descending road. So, before us is the business card of Olympos — a cluster of colorful buildings. Best defines them savory Ukrainian word “halabuda”. These are booths, houses and barracks, made of boards. And part of khalabuda raised above the ground on poles, and then all put together in the trees. Depending on the thickness of your wallet, you will be offered a choice of either a booth with such cracks that the palm fit or likeness of the Soviet turbosog house. However, the house has a bathroom and air conditioning. Groups khalabuda combined with cheap taverns and form those legendary tree houses hotels. For the nearest to the sea “birdhouse” begins the territory of the national Park. The passage to the beach is supposed to pay, but the local public, most likely, bypasses the cashier only known to her “goat trails”. Behind the entrance to the national Park, the road runs along the river Bank, surrounded by a magnificent landscape — the sky is supported by tall rocks, at their foot — the remains of ancient buildings indispensable for Turkey. Olympos beach, which brings the river valley surrounded by rocks and wooded ruins – is kilometers of small pebbles and clear water. Yes, even the audience, different from the one that filled the many-star “reservations for tourists” in the neighboring Kemer villages. So, twenty minutes after going to the beach, I managed to get acquainted with a local photographer and climber — a tall guy dressed in a typical backpacker t-shirt with the inscription Thailand. Within a couple of minutes after the generally accepted “glad to meet you” we enthusiastically discussed a guide for climbers and wildlife photography. The final chord in the introduction is Yanartaş Olimpos. Here, through the thickness of layered rocks from the earth’s interior seeps gas that self-ignites, reaching the surface. On the map, a place with the same name is very close to the beach. But in reality it is not so simple. The road to the slope under which Bellerophon shoved the fire-breathing Chimera is quite long and tangled. It is better to join the tour. And you need to go to Yanartash not earlier than four in the afternoon. First, to Yanartash need to climb half an hour up the hill. Secondly, at this time the sun is already hiding behind the ridges surrounding the valley and the flames among the stones are clearly visible. If the spirit of freedom soars in Olympos, then Yanartash has clear signs of a “place of power”. The flames escaping from the stone slope could not fail to impress the man. It seems that the ancient myth of Chimera and Bellerophon is only the final link in the chain of myths and beliefs associated with Yanartash. It is a pity that we will never know how to explain the emergence of yanartash fires in the pre-romantic period.