Taking on Nemrut (I)

Feet firmly on the ground after nearly escaping death – Turkish drivers are probably the most scary drivers I have ever come across – we got on yet another bus which would take us from Adıyaman to Kahta, where our hotel was. We were staying at Komagene Hotel which had tour packages for Mt Nemrut. Tours are not usually our style but we thought that it was quite a good deal we were having and we simply couldn’t figure out how to get to the mountain for sunrise without arranged transport.

Quickly settled into our room which was quite cosy, we still had a lot of time until that 2 am wake up call which would be when we would actually head up to the majestic Mt. Nemrut. So we decided to go down to the lake formed by the Atatürk Dam, found on the Euphrates River, on the border of the Adıyaman and Şanlıurfa provinces. We got a lift from the hotel who usually shuttles guests to the lake (but not from) and in true idiot style, we ended up at the lake, at midday without any water or anything else.

Atatürk Dam Lake
Atatürk Dam Lake

The sheer blueness of the lake was amazing ; I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. It was quite refreshing to dip our toes in our water and just take in the view that was in front of us. I would probably have gone for a swim if I could.

It had already been in a while since we had eaten anything and hunger was starting to set in. Our only option was the restaurant by the lake, probably the only restaurant in the area for miles. As we munched on the food and took in the beautiful scenery, we started thinking about how to get back to the hotel. We weren’t really looking forward to walking back and hitchhiking back would have been an option – if there was anyone around. We ended up getting a ride from the restaurant owner and there we went, on the bendy roads leading to Kahta listening to some Kurdish songs.

Some lovely kebab for lunch
Some lovely kebab for lunch
Following the river back to Kahta
Following the river back to Kahta

Back in Kahta, we still had some of our food supplies (which we had bought from the train ride) so we just got bread to go with them and ice cream just because. With ‘The Proposal’ playing, we finished a whole tub between us two and had one long nap – or at least I did, in preparation for our early morning ‘climb’.

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