Missed opportunities occur throughout life, but to me, missed opportunities while traveling abroad are much more disappointing. About two-thirds of the way through our tour of Turkey we left the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia and headed for Pamukkale. We made a couple of stops along the way, but in all the day was long with way too much time on the bus. We arrived at our accommodation – the Pam Thermal Hotel – late in the evening with just enough time to squeeze in a light dinner. I had heard a lot about the curative red waters of the Pam Thermal Hotel and had been looking forward to enjoying a long, relaxing soak at the end of an equally long day. However, the rigors of a bus tour combined with the late hour and an early wake-up call got the better of me. I resigned myself to a quick look around and then headed off to bed. The curative red waters of the Pam Thermal Hotel would have to wait for another day.
The Thermal Spring at Pam Thermal Hotel
It’s not uncommon for hotels to have a well-defined niche, and the Pam Thermal Hotel is no exception. Located in western Turkey in close proximity to the white limestone Cotton Fortress of Pamukkale, the Pam Thermal Hotel property embraces the source of a thermal spring. But this is no ordinary stream! Due to the abundance and variety of minerals the water has a red hue and is believed to be curative for a vast array of aliments.
The CURATIVE Red WaterS OF THE Pam Thermal Hotel
The red spring waters at the Pam Thermal Hotel remain a constant 58 degrees Centigrade (that’s 136 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. Its mineral content includes magnesium, calcium, carbon dioxide, sulfide and bicarbonate, making it a desired therapy for both health and beauty. The Pam Thermal Hotel is a member of the Turkish Health Ministry and is registered with the European Thermal Springs Association. In addition to the baths, the curative red waters of the Pam Thermal Hotel are also said to be beneficial as a dietary supplement to treat gallstones and gall bladder disease, constipation, gastritis and kidney stones.
What Ailments Does the Red Water Bath Treat?
According to the Pam Hotel website, their curative waters will treat a variety of illnesses, including:
• Chronic rheumatoid diseases
• Articular diseases like osteoarthritis
• Soft tissue diseases like fibromyalgia and tendonitis
• Joint pain
• Sport lesions
• Neurological disease
• Rehabilitation therapy after brain, nerve and orthopedic surgery
• Cerebral Palsy spasms
• Scabia and detrital candidiasis
What about the Tourist Experience?
I will admit that my interest in bathing in the curative red waters of the Pam Thermal Hotel had nothing to do with what ails me. The baths themselves are beautiful, naturally adorned by decades of mineral buildup that would be the envy of any landscape architect.
The pools gently flow from one to another producing the relaxing sound of trickling water. The rising steam carried with it a medicinal yet welcomed aroma, wafting through the air like a campfire in the wilderness. Together the sight, sound and smell created an ambiance you might imagine from ancient Greece. I wouldn’t have been surprised to look up and see an assemblage of toga-clad bathers congregating for a calming nocturnal interlude!
But alas, I did not. Instead I drug my road-weary body to my room where I slept. Resigning myself to the fact that sometimes – even if rarely – we have to surrender our quest for adventure to the more mundane necessities of life.
What about you? Would you have foregone an hour of sleep to experience this treasure of nature?