Nine hours to the summit of Mt. Nemrut.
Adiyaman Travel Blog› entry 133 of 251 › view all entries
July 5th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
Our destination was the town of Kahta, located on the southern base of the mountain. On our map, it looked like a fairly easy to drive first to the city of Malayta on the northern-ish side, then drive south to our destination. Aahh, but when we got there we found the mountains were in our way! Damn mountains.
So after that excrutiatingly boring six-hour drive to Malayta, we found we were still a long way from our destination.
It took an hour to cover a fraction of the distance on the map. When we came to a branch in the road, we were unsure which way to go. I decided to forget Kahta and just called one of the hotels located ON the mountain -- Hotel Kervansaray -- hoping for directions or guidance. I got through, but the owner didn’t speak English. After a few minutes of futile communication efforts, he found an English-speaking guest, a German, who translated for us. It was settled that we would drive to the summit of Mt. Nemrut, since it was well marked and would be easy to find.
The drive took two hours. So, nine hours after departing our hotel, we found ourselves at the summit of Mt. Nemrut. Since we hadn’t planned on visiting the mountain until tomorrow, we were effectively well ahead of schedule! And just in time for sunset.
Steve, feeling even worse after two hours of bumps and curves, opted to sleep in the car. I got out and headed up the path to the dome-shaped summit, which was surprisingly small. On the way, I met our man from the hotel, whose name is Vahop. Whew! So at least we had a place to stay, and a way to get there. Big relief.
Mt. Nemrut is the site of the tomb of Antiochos 1, who ruled from 69 to 36 B.C. There are a number of ancient colossal statues around the summit, the heads of which have fallen off the bodies, and now sit on the ground in gorgeous disarray. The effect of all these “big heads” lit by the now-dwindling purplish evening light, and surrounded by the spectacular scenery of Eastern Turkey, was enough to lift my mood considerably.
I was happy to learn that Vahop planned to drive our car for us. I was unhappy to learn the reason why. The road we came up on doesn’t connect with the road they came up on. So although it was only 8 km to the hotel and should have been a 15-minute drive, we had to drive ALL THE BACK DOWN AND AROUND THE MOUNTAIN, which was a two-hour drive! Unbelievable! And the road was phenomenally bad… “for locals only” Vahop explained.
Hotel Kervansaray looked promising from the outside. There was an attractive stone terrace where people were eating dinner, drinking, and generally having a good time. We were welcomed kindly by the owner and shown to the room. Big disappointment there, and a far cry from our accommodations at Museum Hotel. It was painted blue and purple and had two tiny twin beds, an end table, a Donald Duck light fixture, and nothing else. The “shower” was a hand held sprayer in the bathroom, with no enclosure. Oh boy. Steve made some disparaging comments, threw off his clothes, and was asleep in 2 seconds. It took me a little longer, about 5 seconds…
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