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The Cotton Castle

SINGAPORE | Saturday, 5 March 2011 | Views [341]

What kind of castle is that? Cotton Castle?

Before I reached Hierapolis (Pamukkale, Turkey), my mind was conjuring all kinds of images. Soft fluffy architecture that couldn't be more fairy-tale like, or perhaps a little treasure among cotton tree plantation, or maybe it was nothing more than just a cotton factory (a tourist trap perhaps). 

When I reached the broadwalk leading to the entrance of the Cotton Castle. I stood stunned for a few seconds. It was completely assymetrical to what I had earlier visioned.

What seemed like snow capped mountains were actually cascading calcium carbonate terraces overrun by water from the hot springs. The hot steam produced by the streams gave the entire area an aura of mystic beauty.

Standing on the platform at the entrance of the Cotton Castle, I felt like a kid by the swimming pool who couldn't wait to jump in. I couldn't wait to strip off my shoe and socks and waddle in.

The water was warm, even though the ambient temperature was close to 6 degrees celsius. It pricked a little because of the uneven ground. Coupled with the warm water that stream across your feet, it almost felt like foot relexology, I thought.

Some parts were a little slippery, but not too worrying. You just got to be a little careful. I tried to avoid the mini rapids for fear of slipping, and I plunged my foot into a stagnant pool of water, only to extricate it immediately. The water in that pool was freezing cold! Why didn't I think of that?!

As I walked on, the initial prick that I felt gradually disappeared. Maybe because I got used to it. Or maybe the absolute beauty of the place made me forgot the slight discomfort.

I walked on, occasionally pausing to enjoy the scenery. It was cotton on earth, but it felt like cotton in heaven.

Tags: cotton castle, hierapolis, hot springs, pamukkale, terraces, turkey

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