Searching for Mt. Nemrut
To feed a curiosity about the origins of civilization, we decided to take a journey back in time to find an ancient archaeological site called Mt. Nemrut in eastern Turkey we once read about in National Geographic. Our journey started in Istanbul and the Witt Hotel Istanbul, situated on a hill in the quiet neighborhood of Cihangir. From these luxurious surroundings, we plotted our course east that started with a flight to Cappadocia and the cave hotel Esbelli Evi in Ürgüp. Before heading further east to much less luxury in local buses and 2-star hotels, we took a float above Cappadocia in a hot air balloon that gave us even greater perspective on this ancient and mysterious land. We left Cappadocia by bus for the city of Sanliurfa and the Arte Hotel in downtown 'Urfa (as it is sometimes called). It was at this hotel we met the young Salih, who offered to help us find Mt. Nemrut. He did, and it was amazing. Without his help (and rental car) we may not have found the spot. Situated in what seemed like the middle of nowhere among ancient hills, we were treated to a walk back in time through incredible ruins in complete solitude. People don't often visit the site, but they should. Even Salih was amazed and thanked us for the inspiration. To celebrate, we were invited to his family home for dinner with his parents, brother and sister-in-law. If Mt. Nemrut didn't fill us with amazing memories, this meal and attempt at conversation did.