Day 7 :
We’d chalked out this day for the smaller pleasures of life, for a mid-afternoon siesta, for a walk in the village. And for the royally famous, mixed origin (Roman and Turkish), communal bathing ritual of the hamam.
Waking up to the view of the Pamukkale mountain, knowing that you were in no hurry to reach somewhere but that you could walk down the broad road laid outside your hotel, chat up with a 60 year old man selling cotton bedsheets while cycling through town was peaceful in its own way. Obviously, the cyclist-seller didn’t appreciate that I wasn’t carrying Turkish Lira snuck somewhere in my night clothes!
A mother shooed us away, for we came in the view of her camera which was taking a time lapse of the hot air balloons rising through. Her four year old son giggled as we scampered away from her grimaces. While the father sauntered away into town, exploring, the mother and sister donned swimwear to get into the pool! So much for Cleopatra’s pool, where they refused to even step in! I, however, readied myself for a hamam, mentally readied myself, considering its a communal bathing ritual. I still wasn’t sure if I’d make it through without embarrassing myself but stepping into the place, I realised 11 am on a weekday in Pamukkale wasn’t exactly a communal bath time for the Turks! And am I glad for that! The experience, without getting into the specifics, was nonetheless exhilarating and nerve wrecking! I would recommend this to people but with disclaimers, of course.
Before stepping onto the flight for Istanbul, our last stop on the trip, we went pub hopping simply for the ambience and the views that they provided. We met a cafe owner who had been around for almost 40 years, and with the unnerving knack of recognising nationalities of tourists! He was a pleasant old man and probably the only one with that old world charm still going for him. One of the helpers at a cafe was a Pakistani, from Karachi and he helped me haggle with a shop owner for a dress I liked! We didn’t really succeed on the haggling but the familiarity and love that he exuded was heartening. May he get to Canada soon.
Night fell for us in Istanbul and dinner was again at Ozzie’s who welcomed us with a smile and my free Turkish tea! He even offered to take us around Istanbul to get a glimpse of the night life, but unfortunately for him, we were out of the country on the weekend and he was working the weekdays! Next time, though, next time.