We were with our friends, Meg and Aaron, in Pamukkale, Turkey when Aaron suggested we change our itinerary. He’d read about the site of Aphrodisias, archaeological ruins dating back to before the 1st century BC. It’s a bit off the beaten track and was only excavated 50 years ago, so it’s not widely known or visited. The hotel owner was happy to accommodate a small group of us arranging for his father to drive us to the site for a modest fee.
It was worth changing plans. Aphrodisias turned out to be well preserved and easy to see with only a modest number of visitors. Signage was good; however, it would have been helpful to buy and use the guidebook BEFORE touring the site.
We visited three archaeological ruins while in Turkey: Hierapolis, Ephesus, and Aprhrodisias. Did we have a favorite? The answer is all were worth visiting but for reasons that may have more to do with other factors than the actual site itself.
Hierapolis, located outside Pamukkale, is definitely the least visited by the many tourists who flock to the town. They’re all headed to the amazing terraced hot springs that cover the hillside. Another attraction is the ancient columned pool where (for a fee) you can lounge as people have for thousands of years. So, we found few others visiting Hierapolis. It’s a lovely way to see a ruin in a World Heritage Site.
Ephesus was packed with ruins and too many tourists. Pretty frustrating to us. The hot day didn’t help. But then we came to the Library. This is a masterpiece! The proportion and scale is perfection.