Turkey Şanlıurfa 2001.08.25 - 08.27

Nemrut Dağı

Not to be confused with the Nemrut Dağı on the western shore of Lake Van, this Nemrut Dağı is a mountain located about 150 km north of Şanlıurfa, 200 km west of Diyarbakır, and 110 km southeast of Malatya. The main attraction is 2 meter high stone heads scattered around a man-made peak. A pre-Roman king constructed statues of himself and the gods on a western and eastern ledge, then had an artificial mountain peak piled in between. Earthquakes over the years toppled the statue heads from their bodies.

The distance from the parking lot to the summit is 500 horizontal meters. Any sort of walking shoes or sandals are sufficient. Bring a warm jacket because this 3000 meter high summit can get cold and windy even in the middle of the afternoon in the summer.

Organized tours for Nemrut Dağı can be found in Kahta, Malatya, Şanlıurfa, and Cappadocia. We chose Harran-Nemrut Tours (tel: 0542-761-3065) in Şanlıurfa. The tour departs at 07:30 and returns at 23:00 with stops at all sites of interest in the area. Harran-Nemrut charges US$35 per person for transport and a short explanation at each site. The tour runs from June to August. Telephone in advance to confirm departure days. Carry your own food and water.

Wes and Masami stand beside the head of Zeus atop Nemrut Dağı. In the background is a 50 meter high artificial peak of piled rocks.

The heads of Apollo and Zeus rest on the western ledge of Nemrut Dağı. From here we watched the sunset before heading back to Şanlıurfa.

On the way back to Şanlıurfa, our driver stopped at a bakery and treated us to a dinner of lahmacun (thin Turkish pizza) and freshly baked bread. These women are preparing the bread dough.

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