TURKEY: THREE NATURAL WONDERS
But one desire is common to everyone: to touch something white, unknown and beautiful. That is how terrace pools of Pamukalle affect people. Geothermal springs of perfect aquamarine colour, as if hidden in soft cotton, look impressive. This natural site is dubbed the Cotton Fortress. The fact is that water of hot ponds with temperature ranging from 35⁰C to 100⁰C, is rich in calcium. For centuries a hot spring water has been cascading gently over mountain slopes thus forming giant calcified tiers.
And over there, near a series of terraced travertine basins of Pamukalle, pink lights of oleander flowers are flashing and luring with their magical pollen and seductive odour to come and see what is hidden inside their floral treasury. Look behind tender embrace of these plants and you will see hidden mirror of ancient Egyptian queen - the Cleopatra's pool. They say that she enjoyed her rejuvenating baths in this thermal natural source. The temperature of a source reaches 35⁰C. Thermal waters rise out of the ground with millions of little bubbles that envelop your body and you feel like inside a bottle of champagne. In the 7th century the earthquake destroyed the spa once equipped there, and all its antique columns sank to the bottom and rest there to this day. Taking a bath in the country’s prime mineral-bath spa, one just can not help feeling as the Egyptian person in power.
Magic without fire is not the case. In the search for the true fire miracle one should go to the myth-producing sites of Lycian trail. This is where you will find the flaming hill Yanartaş (Burning Rock). Even if you stand alone on the mountain, yet, you will feel that someone is there next to you. Stand still and watch how a cluster of flames blaze spontaneously from crevices on the empty rocky slopes here and there, it can not happen without fakir escapades! Turkish legends tell that once an evil fire-breathing monster settled in Lycia.
Chimera, as residents named it, had a snake tail, goat's body, lion's head and vile temper. Along with it, distress and grief came to the city. For a long time nobody could overcome the creature until king Bellerophon on his Pegasus came to the monster. He shot at Chimera from his bow and killed it, then a faithful Pegasus trod it in the ground.
It is difficult to say if the monster sighs itself, or some fakir plays his pipe and makes this snaky creature remind about its existence. Sceptical scientists explain that in fact natural gas seeps from the earth and bursts into flame upon contact with the air.
It should also be noted that every next year nature breathes more and more difficultly. Local residents say that the flame used to be more intensive and fire tongues went up higher than human scale. For some time they even served as light houses for ships that ventured into this locality.
Search of the Chimera remnants is more exciting when it gets dark, then fakir tricks look more spectacular. And do not be afraid to approach the tongues of flame, people say that the fire of this burning rock almost does not hurt hands.
Ever since childhood we stuck to desire to try biscuits and drinks from Wonderland that allowed Alice to change her size while travelling among wonders, to look at the blue caterpillar proudly resting somewhere high on a giant mushroom. Adult dreamers shall visit Cappadocia. You will not find it in an ordinary map, since Cappadocia known as the "Land of Beautiful Horses", anchored in the midst of four cities Aksaray, Niğde, Kayseri and Kırşehir. This region is much loved by tourists who come to see the incredible, moon-like landscapes of volcanic origin. Huge stone mushrooms, some small rocks with hundreds of caves, rocky chimneys which look as if someone had poured sand over hefty castles. The forces of nature and human effort made Cappadocia unique. First, have a look at all these landscapes which look as unfinished drawing and even more amazing than figures of clouds floating ahead; then, go to study endless crossways of caves and underground cities served as shelter for ancient people who cut their homes inside soft rocks. And do not expect that you will be able to look at the Land of Beautiful Horses while having transit through it, you are sure to return there again and again to learn at least a little about this mesmerizing land, as the whole lifetime can be devoted to study it.
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