Not everyone likes to spend nights in a stranger’s house, and I completely get that. But I love the excitement of meeting someone unknown, when embracing their culture and lifestyle without hesitation, when having hour-long conversations without the awkwardness of small talk and long pauses.
That is why I was extremely excited when offered to be hosted by a biker in Denizli, Turkey.
Denizli is a province in southwest Turkey and the base to Pamukkale- a famous tourist spot with mineral-rich thermal waters housed by snow-white terraces. The hot springs sit beside Hierapolis, a Roman ‘spa city’ with a well-preserved theater and other architectural wonders.
Pamukkale is a natural site in Denizli. The city had beautiful hot springs surrounded by white walls as formed by carbonate minerals, often known as the “cotton castle”. While the pools are usually overfilled with warm, baby blue water, my visit only saw to several filled ponds.
Nonetheless, the hot spring is absolutely beautiful during the sunset. It is naturally warm, which provides a great spot to sit and relax. Though it was considerably crowded during an August day, the other sites surrounding the hot springs were at complete peace.
Hierapolis, an ancient Greco-Roman city, was built atop the hot springs. The theater was phenomenal. Despite it being a few thousand years old, it stood tall against the city of Denizli. Both Turkey and Greece are known for their grand, ancient theaters and magnificent architecture. Can’t imagine what these places held under the reign of the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empire.
The next night, my host and his friend brought me to a Turkish Bikers’ Club. They drank Turkish tea and beer, and we just chatted. A few even took out guitars and had a jam session.
Honestly, I think I’ve found my calling. Waiting for the days when I can retire and ride around the highways of Canada :J
On the third day, my host and his friend took a few days off work to take me on a spontaneous bike trip to Akyaka, a 2-hour motorbike ride away from Denizli.
Muğla is a popular province for tourists. It houses some of the most beautiful beaches and sights in Turkey. Akyaka, being a smaller city, is less tourist-prone. it is quiet and mesmerizing, a camping hot-spot for locals and bikers.
The next day, I took a bus towards Fethiye, the most popular city in Muğla, while my host turned friends returned home to Denizli.
My host wouldn’t let me pay for a dime. The only cost I incurred was the bus from Cappadocia to Denizli, which was another 10-hour bus for about 60 lire (US $16). These buses vary between companies despite similar prices. For more information, visit a local bus terminal. They usually have people there to answer questions. Or, read up on my Turkish travel tips.
If you have other questions, feel free to shoot me a message!
Happy Travels xx
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