Feeling at home in Pamukkale Heaven
The minute we arrived at the Venus Hotel, I knew we were in for a treat. The owners Karyn and Abraham came and gave us a warm welcome which was genuine and very much needed after the 14hr train ride from Istanbul! The young Australian-Turkish couple made us feel at ease immediately, it was if we had come to visit friends who hosted us in their own home.
Arriving early in the morning with our rented car from bustling Denizli, Pamukkale was like a piece of haven. Quiet and tranquil, there is an attractive village feel to it. Yet in the midst of the turkish rural countryside, we were in great company with Karyn and Abraham telling us tales of Pamukkale, how they had met and the wonders of living in Turkey. It couldn't get better!
The hotel has simple, beautiful and spacious rooms, althou it is a small-scaled family-run hotel. Newly renovated and painted with bright soothing colours, the hotel feels more like a B&B in the countryside. I'd always remember the view from our room...
Venus hotel is within 10 minute's walk from the well-known Pamukkale travertines. Shining in its white purity, the travertines can be seen from the hotel, as well as the majestic mountains in the backdrop. After lunch, we had taken a stroll to see the grand travertines, it felt like walking in the clouds - that dreamy way... Many imagine Pamukkale just as one hill filled with white travertines, but there are actually more to it than that. Passing over the travertines, there are tons of roman historical ruins all with a story to tell. The most unique experience at Pamukkale would be swimming in the ancient pool amidst the roman ruins right below your feet. You'd just feel like a roman royalty yourself!
Finally we get to the best part of the hotel- dinner! It would have to be our best meal in Turkey - homecooked Turkish stewed vegetables and meat served in generous portions and cooked to perfection. It was nothing like we had tried all over the country - well, we'd been just having kebabs before that, what we could afford with our budget! Not to mention, the strongest drink I'd had (ok a contender to Absinthe) the Raki, might be known in other names elsewhere, it is an aperative that makes your world spin... Besides the great meal and drinks, we met some fellow travellers at the hotel, and together with the hotel owners, we all just started talking like old friends. Nothing beats this combination - friends and food!
The best thing about the hotel (STILL more to come..) would have to be the cheap price. When we had booked the accomodation on hostelworld.com, we hadn't expected much since it cost US$10 per person per night. A budget just perfect for us young backpackers.
I still reminisce those days spent in this home away from home... [more ]