Mount Nemrut is located 2206 meters above Sea level, the highest point inside the “Cradle of Civilization”, also known as Mesopotamia.
The mountain top is an iconic site build by order of King Antiochos, who ruled around that place between the years -69 and -36. According to Wikipedia he created a royal cult for himself and was preparing to be worshipped there after his death. His grave (actually it is called a Tomb-Sanctuary) had to be as close to the Gods and as far away from the ordinary people as possible. And by far, it is a very unique place to be buried.
Around 2048 years later three ordinary travelers booked a two day tour in Malatya and went on a bumpy journey to see the Sunset and Sunrise from the top of Mount Nemrut.
Getting there from Malatya:
The journey upwards took about 4 or more hours from Malatya with that battered 1990s Ford Transit we were driving in.
On the way towards Nemrut we stopped for lunch and brought supplies to the remote living people inside the many valleys we passed trough.
Countless curves on rocky, dusty and bumpy! mountain roads later (back pain included), we reached the small Hotel Nemrut just beneath the mountain top.
Mount Nemrut auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen
Hotel beneath the summit
We would stay over night in the small and simple Hotel beneath the summit, together with a small group of other travelers. The tour package included meals, soft drinks and free chai. Luckily i brought some delicious Cappadocian wine from Göreme with me and could enjoy to share it with the group after sunset.
We choosed to walk to the summit instead of paying for a car/taxi pickup, which was also possible right from the Hotel, i took us about 30 minutes i guess.
We had time to explore the huge stone heads of the remaining Godstatues, scattered around both “balconies”.
Right before sunset time more and more people started to come up by feet, car or even donkey.
The Sun went below the far away hilltops. While the last light beamed trough the valleys, the skies color pleasured our vision with all kinds of orange flavours.
At night another part of the skies beauty awakes, millions of sparkling bright Stars!
Stying overnight on Mount Nemrut is a perfect opportunity for doing long exposure shots of stars for example.
The remote location and lack of “Big City Lights” pollution just asks for it!
There was only one slight problem. The Hotel owner nearly locked us out by closing the Hotel entrance door after 22:00. Luckily we managed to get back inside just on time. So to say, we had very little time to make long time exposures.
Early Birds! Get up before Sunrise!
The waking service knocked at the door about 4 o clock in the morning, and that was necessary! I think we would easily have overslept another Sunrise on Earth without it.
This time our Ford Transit drove us uphill and we joined a lot of other early birds sitting on the Sunrise balcony.
Visually not as spectacular as the Sunset but at least the chilly mountain top temperature turned up in no time.
Our great heatball works also perfectly as a giant softlamp. In the morning it gives us pretty backlight conditions for silhouette photography.
For more and higher resolution pictures visit the Mt. Nemrut Picasa Web Album