Selçuk to Pamukkale

12/11 – So long, Selçuk! We loved your ruins and your Roman aquaduct still standing in the middle of town.

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We loved your little museum that showed what Ephesus looked like in its prime, and that jewelry hasn’t changed much in 4000 years.

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We loved your town square filled with old men sipping tea and playing cards and Okey from morning ’til night.image

We weren’t so crazy about your pension with spotty wifi and no hot water…

This morning we walked down to the bus station to catch the 9am dolmus to
Pamukkale. There are several different bus companies in competition – one offers free wifi, one offers a free cup of tea enroute. We got a quote of 30 lira from one, and 35 from another, and haggling commenced. We were entering one ticket office when a guy swooped in and said he was a friend of the guy in the office, who really wanted us to take his bus instead.

We eventually got on a mini bus with a small tour group on their way to Pamukkale. We got to hear the tour guide’s patter for free during the three hour ride. Did you know there is no such thing as a green olive tree and a black olive tree? Pick in September to get green olives, and in December to get black! The first press of the olives gives you the virgin olive oil, the second press gives you oil to make soaps and hand creams, then you gather up the pits and sell them for fuel – they burn cleaner than charcoal. Who knew?

By afternoon, we were in Pamukkale, eating kebabs with shoes off, Turkish style, in a local restaurant, with a local cat to keep us company.

Sorry to say, we did not order the lamb chomps!image

Pamukkale is where tourists flock in the warmer months to bathe in the hot springs and walk on the calcium carbonate travertine. We will certainly do some of that, but are here for another reason as well. In 2011, the martyrion and tomb of the Apostle Philip was uncovered here in the excavations of the ancient city of Hierapolis. Now (you may be saying) didn’t we already see the tomb of Philip in Rome? Well, yes we did. The Church of the Apostles claims to host the remains of both Philip and James the Just, and commemorates them both in a single tomb. But if the original tomb of Philip is here, we intend to see it tomorrow!

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