The deceptive first impression – Marmaris

3rd July 2006

Before I left home, I told people I was going to Turkey alone and not one person said, “Oh that sounds lovely” or “Wow, you’re a lucky girl”, I’m pretty sure each and every response I got what “Turkey? What do you want to go there for? It’s too dangerous for a young girl on her own”. It didn’t take me long to stop telling people I was going to Turkey. What was I supposed to do wait for someone to come and hold my hand? As my boat docked I thought to myself, Well I’m about to find out.

I met up with Cam & Emily and we were met by our transfer to Pamukkale. We got into his car and he put our suitcases in the boot. We drove and drove and drove, Pamukkale seemed to be a long way away. This was the catch of a tour, I had to put my trust in someone I didn’t know at all, my life was in this guy’s hands, I didn’t like it. Pamukkale was three hours away by road and the three of us were driven there by a man whose only words to us the whole time were “Ten minutes” when we stopped at a truck stop for a break. We had seen a horrific accident on the way, a truck had crashed into the side of a cliff, it looked like it had been there for ages and not cleaned up as the site of the accident was deserted. I can honestly say my first impression of Turkey was far from good. At one point the driver actually stopped in the middle of nowhere and Emily and I glanced nervously at each other, but all it was, was that the driver hadn’t taken the hand break off properly.

Thankfully we arrived at the hotel safe and sound. We arrived at 2pm and the rest of our group had not arrived yet and wouldn’t be arriving until 6pm.This made me doubly angry at Meridian, that was an extra four hours I could have spent exploring Rhodes, not stuck in a hotel in Turkey in the middle of nowhere.

The spring at the Thermal Resort

The hotel was beautiful. None of us had breakfast and we decided to go to the restaurant and have a look. We had arrived in time for lunch, and they were serving this off looking bright red chicken dish, which was one of the nicest things I had ever eaten. It was all you can eat and I stuffed myself. We went to our rooms and decided to get changed and have a swim as it was still quite hot. The pool was huge and there was another young girl with tiny plaits all through her hair sunbaking by it, with a little old lady. There were also some young boys playing in the pool. We swam for a while and then decided to explore, the hotel was called a “Thermal Resort” and we wanted to find out why. We soon found out that it was because it had a volcanic spring in the hotel grounds. I went into the volcanic pool area and the water was a disgusting dirty looking scum coloured green. Emily and I looked at each other and then looked at Cam, who looked at us as if to say, Ok I’ll go in first. He said it was perfectly fine and hot so we both got in.

The water was lovely and there were jets coming out of the walls, where we could lean up against and have the water pour all over you. I thought to myself, of course the water is that colour it must be the sulphur, remembering the hot springs on Santorini. A young man came in and took some pictures of us in the spring, which the next day I of course bought. There was a little bridge you could swim under to get to the hot pool on the other side, the hotel also had a Jacuzzi, Turkish bath and a sauna. I thought to myself, how can people in Australia consider these people uncivilised, as I laid back in the thermal pool, which turned out to be exactly what I needed. All the trekking around on the Greek Islands had ruined my leg muscles and it had been getting to the point where I couldn’t walk for the first hour of the morning, until my tired and sore legs warmed up.

I went back to my room for a shower, before meeting up with my tour group from “Vamos” tours for dinner. Cam, Emily & I ate on a table by ourselves and then went off to bed as we had a 6am start the next day.

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