Climbing Mt Nemrut

Kahta Travel Blog

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Karakalus Tumulus

Before we decide to go to Kahta we decided to try one more travel agent so we phoned one listed in the Lonely Planet.  The agency wanted 150 Lira each for a private tour!  So that was it we decided to go to Kahta and pick up a tour from there.  We booked Karadut Pension which meant once we got to Kahta we would have to change buses and get another one to take us to Karadut village.

The bus was a medium sized Dolmus and was fairly empty on our trip to Kahta, it took about 3 hours to get to Adiyaman and we crossed over the mighty Attaturk Dam.  At Adiyaman we had to change onto another Dolmus to take us to Kahta which was another hour.  As we approached Kahta the sky didn’t look too good in the distance but looking over Nemrut it looked fairly clear.  As we came into the town the bus stopped and some bloke beckoned us from the doorway to get off, I didn’t understand what he was saying but Zehra was talking to him and the bus driver and I got the jist that she was asking why we should be getting off. Next minute she says we have to get off here to get the Karadut bus, at first I protested then I followed her I had no idea what was going on.  The bloke asked us to follow him into what look like a small hut or should I say tourist agency.  I think we were poached off the bus which was a cheek.  He invited us into his office and I asked what the heck was going on as he explained in Turkish to Zehra about some tour. Zehra said that if we went to Karadut then we would be paying 40 liras for a lift up to the mountain and that is all we would see. We had confirmed when we booked the room that it was 40 Lira from Karadut to the summit. For an extra 10 liras we could do his tour which left in 15 minutes and not only see Mt Nemrut but all the other sites on the way then they would drop us off at Karadut Pension if we liked. We thought about it and agreed, he then said that there was also a pension as he pointed behind his hut that was 60 lira’s a night so we decided to go have a look. Commageon looked OK the room was spacious although a little shabby but then I read that the rooms in Karadut were tiny so to save the hassle we opted to stay here.  The tour left at 2:15pm and joining us was a couple of Koreans and a Turk.  Our first stop was Karakalus Tumulus a burial ground built in 36 BC with about 3 columns ringing it. One column had an eagle atop of it the other a lion. The views of the surrounding mountains were excellent.  Next stop was an old Roman Bridge called the Cendere Bridge and was built in 2nd century AD, the bridge went over a river that cut into a gorge it was lovely. It was at this point the black clouds rolled in and it started to rain so we high tailed it back to the bus!  We continued to wind up the mountain and stopped at a bridge with a gorge looking over it. At the top of the gorge were ruins of an old castle but you couldn’t see it too well from where we were it would have been better from around the other side. Next we stopped at a place called Arsameia which was founded by Mithridates 1st in around 80 BC and added to by his son Antiochus 1st.  The rain was coming down and it was cold and neither Zehra nor I had rain jackets with us!  We were reluctant to get out at first but felt we might miss something! We headed along the stony path to the first location which was down some small steps to a stele which was a tall flat stone structure which depicted Apollo.

Karakalus Tumulus
It was on these steps that I slipped on the wet rocks and fell on my butt!  So now that was fall number three in the last 3.5 weeks!!  Lucky enough I was OK and I got up and continued on but with total wariness! The structure looked a little warn so you could see the markings on it. We continued up to the cave and this is where we stayed for a bit hoping the rain would pass. The Koreans continued up to see other things but we were too wet and cold to continue on so we headed back to the bus. We continued to climb up the mountain and the rain was coming down hard so we couldn’t see the spectacular views out the window. I prayed it would blow over by the time we got to the top and I think my prayers were answered as it did seem to start brightening up.  At the top we got out the bus and it was freezing! There was a stone building that was a shop and cafe so we all went in there, they had a heater and it was hard to tear yourself away from it. Our guide said we had to go up together and come down together, looking at the 600 meter track to the summit which was crawling with tourists I don’t see why we need to hold each other’s hand!   The rain had stopped but it was very cold so with my fleece, beanie and scarf I headed up with Zehra close behind me. The steps to the summit were wet and slippy so I was more concerned about landing on my butt again than the climb itself! The clouds had mostly cleared so the views weren’t too bad. As we rounded the corner there were the heads lined up on the ground behind a fence and above them the stone bodies. My first impression was that the monument would be larger than what I was looking at but it was smaller and the heads weren’t much bigger than me! Secondly I had watched the movie Clash of the Titans recently and I imagined a giant sized scorpion to come bounding over the monument!  The history behind the monument dated back to 38 to 64 BC and built by Antiochus 1st part of the Roman Empire.  A mound raised up behind the headless figures and to the one side was what was left of snow.  We spent about half an hour up on the top then we were getting cold so we headed back down the slippery steps.  We sat in the cafe for a while and had a hot cup of tea and warmed up, there was no way we were staying up here for sunset the black clouds were rolling in again.  As we headed back down the mountain we had some nice views of the valleys or a while anyway then the rain came again!  We passed the village of Karadut and it was still another 30k’s back to Kahta so I’m thinking we made the right choice staying in town given we had to leave the next day for Ankara. 

Back at the pension I was looking forward to a hot shower but all I got coming through the shower head was cool water! Zehra tried to find a working power point to charge her camera battery, there were two one didn’t work and the other was hanging out the wall. I was not happy especially as I was cold and wanted a hot shower. I went downstairs and complained the manager came upstairs and told us the power point hanging out the wall was working I told him it was not safe to have wires hanging out the wall! He also said that he had put the hot water on and it would be hot in half an hour also his damn Internet wouldn’t work so I wondered what did work in this place. He could see I was angry and understood if we wanted to change hotels but it was cold dark and raining outside and there wasn’t much choice in this crappy town so he then apologised and said he would only charge us 35 Liras for the room instead of 60!  He offered to take us out to a restaurant that overlooked the lake for a decent meal as there was nothing in town. We decided to go and Jin the Korean girl came with us.  The restaurant looked like an old school function room, nothing much to look at but they did serve up a nice plate of trout with hot bread and salad which was nice.  Chatting to our host we found out that the town of Kahta was predominantly Kurdish and Armenian. Back at the hotel the water had warmed up but it wasn’t boiling as they proclaimed! At least the beds were comfortable!

 

 

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Views from Karakalus Tumulus

Before we decide to go to Kahta we decided to try one more travel agent so we phoned one listed in the Lonely Planet.  The agency wanted 150 Lira each for a private tour!  So that was it we decided to go to Kahta and pick up a tour from there.  We booked Karadut Pension which meant once we got to Kahta we would have to change buses and get another one to take us to Karadut village.

The bus was a medium sized Dolmus and was fairly empty on our trip to Kahta, it took about 3 hours to get to Adiyaman and we crossed over the mighty Attaturk Dam.  At Adiyaman we had to change onto another Dolmus to take us to Kahta which was another hour.  As we approached Kahta the sky didn’t look too good in the distance but looking over Nemrut it looked fairly clear.  As we came into the town the bus stopped and some bloke beckoned us from the doorway to get off, I didn’t understand what he was saying but Zehra was talking to him and the bus driver and I got the jist that she was asking why we should be getting off. Next minute she says we have to get off here to get the Karadut bus, at first I protested then I followed her I had no idea what was going on.  The bloke asked us to follow him into what look like a small hut or should I say tourist agency.  I think we were poached off the bus which was a cheek.  He invited us into his office and I asked what the heck was going on as he explained in Turkish to Zehra about some tour.

Karakalus Tumulus
Zehra said that if we went to Karadut then we would be paying 40 liras for a lift up to the mountain and that is all we would see. We had confirmed when we booked the room that it was 40 Lira from Karadut to the summit. For an extra 10 liras we could do his tour which left in 15 minutes and not only see Mt Nemrut but all the other sites on the way then they would drop us off at Karadut Pension if we liked. We thought about it and agreed, he then said that there was also a pension as he pointed behind his hut that was 60 lira’s a night so we decided to go have a look. Commageon looked OK the room was spacious although a little shabby but then I read that the rooms in Karadut were tiny so to save the hassle we opted to stay here.  The tour left at 2:15pm and joining us was a couple of Koreans and a Turk.  Our first stop was Karakalus Tumulus a burial ground built in 36 BC with about 3 columns ringing it. One column had an eagle atop of it the other a lion. The views of the surrounding mountains were excellent.  Next stop was an old Roman Bridge called the Cendere Bridge and was built in 2nd century AD, the bridge went over a river that cut into a gorge it was lovely. It was at this point the black clouds rolled in and it started to rain so we high tailed it back to the bus!  We continued to wind up the mountain and stopped at a bridge with a gorge looking over it. At the top of the gorge were ruins of an old castle but you couldn’t see it too well from where we were it would have been better from around the other side. Next we stopped at a place called Arsameia which was founded by Mithridates 1st in around 80 BC and added to by his son Antiochus 1st.  The rain was coming down and it was cold and neither Zehra nor I had rain jackets with us!  We were reluctant to get out at first but felt we might miss something! We headed along the stony path to the first location which was down some small steps to a stele which was a tall flat stone structure which depicted Apollo. It was on these steps that I slipped on the wet rocks and fell on my butt!  So now that was fall number three in the last 3.5 weeks!!  Lucky enough I was OK and I got up and continued on but with total wariness! The structure looked a little warn so you could see the markings on it. We continued up to the cave and this is where we stayed for a bit hoping the rain would pass. The Koreans continued up to see other things but we were too wet and cold to continue on so we headed back to the bus. We continued to climb up the mountain and the rain was coming down hard so we couldn’t see the spectacular views out the window.
Cendere Old Roman Bridge
I prayed it would blow over by the time we got to the top and I think my prayers were answered as it did seem to start brightening up.  At the top we got out the bus and it was freezing! There was a stone building that was a shop and cafe so we all went in there, they had a heater and it was hard to tear yourself away from it. Our guide said we had to go up together and come down together, looking at the 600 meter track to the summit which was crawling with tourists I don’t see why we need to hold each other’s hand!   The rain had stopped but it was very cold so with my fleece, beanie and scarf I headed up with Zehra close behind me. The steps to the summit were wet and slippy so I was more concerned about landing on my butt again than the climb itself! The clouds had mostly cleared so the views weren’t too bad. As we rounded the corner there were the heads lined up on the ground behind a fence and above them the stone bodies. My first impression was that the monument would be larger than what I was looking at but it was smaller and the heads weren’t much bigger than me! Secondly I had watched the movie Clash of the Titans recently and I imagined a giant sized scorpion to come bounding over the monument!  The history behind the monument dated back to 38 to 64 BC and built by Antiochus 1st part of the Roman Empire.  A mound raised up behind the headless figures and to the one side was what was left of snow.  We spent about half an hour up on the top then we were getting cold so we headed back down the slippery steps.  We sat in the cafe for a while and had a hot cup of tea and warmed up, there was no way we were staying up here for sunset the black clouds were rolling in again.  As we headed back down the mountain we had some nice views of the valleys or a while anyway then the rain came again!  We passed the village of Karadut and it was still another 30k’s back to Kahta so I’m thinking we made the right choice staying in town given we had to leave the next day for Ankara. 

Back at the pension I was looking forward to a hot shower but all I got coming through the shower head was cool water! Zehra tried to find a working power point to charge her camera battery, there were two one didn’t work and the other was hanging out the wall. I was not happy especially as I was cold and wanted a hot shower. I went downstairs and complained the manager came upstairs and told us the power point hanging out the wall was working I told him it was not safe to have wires hanging out the wall! He also said that he had put the hot water on and it would be hot in half an hour also his damn Internet wouldn’t work so I wondered what did work in this place.

Cendere Old Roman Bridge
He could see I was angry and understood if we wanted to change hotels but it was cold dark and raining outside and there wasn’t much choice in this crappy town so he then apologised and said he would only charge us 35 Liras for the room instead of 60!  He offered to take us out to a restaurant that overlooked the lake for a decent meal as there was nothing in town. We decided to go and Jin the Korean girl came with us.  The restaurant looked like an old school function room, nothing much to look at but they did serve up a nice plate of trout with hot bread and salad which was nice.  Chatting to our host we found out that the town of Kahta was predominantly Kurdish and Armenian. Back at the hotel the water had warmed up but it wasn’t boiling as they proclaimed! At least the beds were comfortable!

 

 **** Sadly I lost my small camera in Ankara so some photo's are missing!!

davroy says:
A real shame about the weather, Jaynie.
Posted on: May 09, 2010
Karakalus Tumulus
Karakalus Tumulus
Views from Karakalus Tumulus
Views from Karakalus Tumulus
Attaturk Dam
Attaturk Dam
Karakalus Tumulus
Karakalus Tumulus
Views from Karakalus Tumulus
Views from Karakalus Tumulus
Views from Karakalus Tumulus
Views from Karakalus Tumulus
Karakalus Tumulus
Karakalus Tumulus
Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Gorge by Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Gorge by Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Gorge near Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Gorge near Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Cendere Old Roman Bridge
Castle at top of a gorge
Castle at top of a gorge
Gorge near Mt Nemrut
Gorge near Mt Nemrut
On the way to Mt Nemrut
On the way to Mt Nemrut
Heads on Mt Nemrut
Heads on Mt Nemrut
Heads on Mt Nemrut
Heads on Mt Nemrut
Statues on Mt Nemrut
Statues on Mt Nemrut
Statues on Mt Nemrut
Statues on Mt Nemrut
Views of Mountains from Mt Nemrut
Views of Mountains from Mt Nemrut
Views from Mt Nemrut
Views from Mt Nemrut
Views from Mt Nemrut
Views from Mt Nemrut
Statue on Mt Nemrut
Statue on Mt Nemrut
Mt Nemrut
Mt Nemrut
Heads on Mt Nemrut
Heads on Mt Nemrut
Heads on Mt Nemrut
Heads on Mt Nemrut
Head on Mt Nemrut
Head on Mt Nemrut
Mt Nemrut
Mt Nemrut
Mt Nemrut
Mt Nemrut
Statues on Mt Nemrut
Statues on Mt Nemrut
Kahta
photo by: zeraczl