Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country’s economic, cultural, and historical heart. With a population of 14.1 million, the city forms one of the largest urban agglomerations in Europe, second largest in the Middle East and the fifth-largest city in the world by population within city limits.Istanbul’s vast area of 5,343 square kilometers is coterminous with Istanbul Province, of which the city is the administrative capital.Istanbul is a transcontinental city, straddling the Bosphorus—one of the world’s busiest waterways—in northwestern Turkey, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies in Europe, while a third of its population lives in Asia.
Pamukkale, or „cotton castle” in Turkish, is an unreal little village that has some of the most spectacular turquoise water terraces you will ever lay eyes on. For thousands of years, people have come here to bath in the hot springs. There are 17 of them in all that range in temperature from 35 °C (95 °F) to 100 °C (212 °F). What makes this site so breathtaking, however, is how the pools look against the white limestone mountains. The terraces are made of travertine, a form of limestone deposited by the thermal waters.
For those looking to take a dip, sadly you’re out of luck. As world traveler Michael Turtle states, „Whereas once you could swim in the travertines, now security guards keep a watchful eye on anyone trying to get too close. Other than a special swimming pool that has been constructed away from the cliffs, Pamukkale is generally to be seen but not touched these days.”In many ways, that’s to be applauded. The site is a truly remarkable natural phenomenon and it would be a pity if human interference damaged it permanently for future generations.”
Photos by Ahmet Şahin,Fraile,Malc C,ukrvneshtorg,Ana Raquel S. Hernandes,dachalan,Ocean/Corbis,Werner Bohm,Turizm.