Magical waters

by Diane Halliwell

This story is part of our 'Romantic Travel Stories' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our travel writing competition.

Photo by Rui Ornelas.


My most romantic holiday was my first holiday abroad with my boyfriend, we went to Turkey. It was great to be able to spend some time together as I work full time days and he works shifts, so sometimes we're like ships that pass in the night! While we were there, we visited the Sacred Pool in Pamukkale, and it stays in my mind as an amazing experience.

It was developed as a spa by the Romans, who surrounded the natural spring with ornate pillars which, following an earthquake, fell into the pool and remain there to this day.

The water bubbles (literally!) from the ground, warm and carbonated. Pink-flowering oleander grows wild around the pool, trailing in the water, and vivid dragonflies dart across the surface.

Swimming together there was a very surreal experience, like bathing in warm Perrier water under the hot Turkish sun, amongst the broken columns of an ancient civilization. Neither of us had ever been anywhere like it before, and we couldn't stop talking about it that evening over a glass or two of wine on the hotel balcony, while the sun set.

We have been on many holidays together since, but there is something truly magical about that place that is hard to define but impossible for us to forget.

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