So… we finally got to Mt. Nemrut – as far into Eastern Turkey as we’re going to get. I knew the first day we walked into Suleyman’s (the travel agent) office and saw the poster of the giant stone heads that was somewhere we wanted to be. The stars aligned, the restrictions were lifted, and off the Gutieschlers (that’s us and our neighbors…) went. The only disappointing aspect of this trip was that it was canceled the week my mom and step-father were here due to snow. I wish they had been able to go with us.
We left the hotel at 3 am to reach the summit by sunrise. And by reach I mean walk up a steep, uneven rocky path for about ohh say and hour or so… in the dark… maybe more, I don’t really remember. I was concentrating on not dying. For my runner husband and friends it was no big deal, for me with asthma and a wide end it was a pretty big damn deal. But worth every breathless minute!
From one of the Mt. Nemrut websites: “In 62 B.C., King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built on the mountaintop a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues (8-9 meters/26-30 feet high) of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian and Iranian gods, such as Hercules-Vahagn, Zeus-Aramazd or Oromasdes (associated with the Irenic god Ahura Mazda), Tyche and Apollo-Mithras. These statues were once seated, with names of each god inscribed on them. The heads of the statues have at some stage been removed from their bodies, and they are now scattered throughout the site.” Simply amazing, like hanging on the edge of the world, knowing that you are simply a tiny fleck in the big scheme of things. What a perspective.