Denizli

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Fourteenth century North African traveler lbn Battuta called Denizli “a most important town,” and today Denizli is the Aegean region’s fastest growing city after İzmir. Garbage-strewn streets and peipetual construction work at the out skirts of town give a bad first impression, but pleasant restaurants and parks line Atatürk Bul. and İstiklâl Cad. An overabundance of chicken statues commemorate Denizli’s ties to the poultry industry. Less touristed than nearby Pamukkale but far busier, Denizli offers a nice contrast, if only for a daytrip.

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TRANSPORTATION

The otogar and train station (268 28 31) sit across from one another on busy İzmir Bul., at the eastern end of town. Buses run to: Ankara (6hr., 12 per day 7am-1am, $8.80); Antalya (5hr., 15 per day 4:30am-2am, $5.60); Bodrum (5hr., 5 per day 9:30am-9pm, $5.60); Bursa (8hr.; 7:30pm, midnight; $9.60); Didim (Didyma) (4hr., 3 per day 6:30am-3pm, $5); Fethiye (4hr., 3 per day 9:30am-5:30pm, $4.60); Istanbul (10hr.; 6 per day 8:30am-11pm, express after 8:30pm; $14.40); İzmir (4hr., 30 per day 4:50am-lam, $4.80); Konya (6hr., 5 per day 6am-8pm, $10.50);

Kuşadası (4hr., take any İzmir bus and get off at Selçuk for a dolmuş, $4); Marmaris (4hr., 8 per day 5am-8:30pm, $4.80); Nazilli (1hr., take any İzmir bus, $2); Nevşehir (10hr., 10pm, $9.60); Selçuk (2hr., take any Izmir bus, $4); Söke (3hr., take any Didim bus, $4). For Aphrodislas, take an Izmir bus to Nazilli, then a minibus to Karacasu, then a dolmuş or taxi to Aphrodisias. Pamukkale (30min.; every 15min. 7am-11pm; in winter every 30min. 7am-8pm; $.40). Alternatively, call ahead toa pension in Pamuk¬kale for free pickup. Trains run to Istanbul (14hr.; 5pm; $8.80); İzmir (5hr., 4 per day 5am-3:30pm, $3). There is a 20% student; discount with ISIC.

ORIENTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION

The otogar sits on İzmir Bul., one of the city’s main arteries. The road running along the side of the otogar opposite the PTT and bus offices, Turan Güneş Cad., eventually ends at Atatürk Bul. Follow Atatürk Bul. to the left for 400m to reach Bayramyeri Meydanı, where İstiklal Cad., Atatürk Bul., and Atatürk Cad. meet. The train station and otogar are open M-F 8:30am-noon and 1:30-5:30pm; in winter until 5pm. A small 24hr. police station (241 89 20) is in the otogar, and a larger 24hr. station ( 241 89 21) is on Atatürk Bul, about 50m from Bayramyeri Meydanı. For medical assistance, go to the Pamukkale University Hospital, 42 Doktorlar Cad. ( 241 00 34; fax 264 92 57), the best private hospital in the area. A pharmacy, Atik Eczane, is just outside of the oto¬gar. ( 262 00 67. Open M-Sa 8am-8pm.) A PIT is on Atatürk Bul., 30m beyond the police station. (241 01 49. Open daily 7am-11pm.) There is another PTT in the otogar. (Open daily 8:30am-10pm.) Postal code: 20100.

ACCOMMODATIONS AND FOOD

Denizli Pansiyon, 1993 Sok., No. 14, is about 1km out of town in a pleasant, residential neighborhood. Tidy rooms, all with bath, encircle a shady courtyard with a marble fountain. Free transportation from the otogar and to Pamukkale. Daily trips to Aphrodisias ($8) can be followed by a relaxing swim at Saida Lake for an additional $5. ( 26187 38; mobile 532 410 39 99; fax 264 49 46. Large breakfast included. Homemade Turkish dinner $4. $5.60 per person.) Altın Pension O, Topraklik Mali., 633 Sok., No. 4, is a convenient 20m behind the otogar, and offers utilitarian rooms with bath and telephones. Some have TVs. (264 54 72; fax 242 76 02. Breakfast $1.60. Singles $4.80, with bath $6.40; doubles with bath $9.60.) For a cushier experience with bath, TV, A/C, and the occasional balcony, head to the 2-star Yıldırım Hotel , 632 Sok. No. 13, located conveniently behind the otogar. Ask to see several rooms, since size varies substantially. ( 263 35 90 or 264 50 75; fax 263 35 90. Breakfast included. Singles $12; doubles $16; triples $21; prices slightly negotiable.)

Grab a tasty kebap, lahmacun ($.60), or the generous “Special Kervan” mixed plate ($2.80) at the local chain, Kervan Kebap , 101 Atatürk Bul. (261 62 22), 200m beyond the PTT heading away from Bayramyeri Meydanı, or 8 Çaybaşı Condağan Parks Karşısı (263 07 45), just off Mimar Sinan Cad. before it intersects Atatürk Bul. (Both open daily 8:30am-10pm.) For more sophisticated dining at reasonable prices, the posh Denizli Evi Restaurant , 10 İstiklâl Cad., on the right after the Yeni Ulu Çınar Camii on Delikliçınar Meydanı, is an excellent choice. (263 14 42. Cold dishes from $.80; filet mignon $3.20. Open daily 8pm-midnight.)

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