Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's a Long Way to Nemrut Dagi, It's a Long Way To Go

So, having felt we had gotten the gist of Cappadocia, and wanting to see at least a bit of eastern Turkey, we headed out from Goreme, first past Kaseri (Caesuria in ancient times), past the great volcano, hidden in clouds, and further and further east, stopping at a truck stop near Pinarbasi. Because of the lateness of the hour, we missed a great-looking caravansary that I definitely want to see next time. From there, next morning, we swung south, then back east, through Kahrmanmaras, and finally to our goal (as it turned out) of Karadut, at the foot of Nemrut Dagi. Nemrut Dagi (as you surely know) is perhaps the major sight of eastern Turkey, an ancient mountain-top Garden of the Gods, sacred to King Antiochus of the Commagenes, who ruled here in Hellenistic times. But I am getting ahead of the story. Anyhow, it was a day of awful driving, much road construction, unending rain, many delays. We landed at a campground in Karadut simply because we could not drive any further on the muddy roads.

The similarity to the American West is striking,
overwhelming; um, except for the mosques and minarets

Turkish trucks--those owned privately or by small
businesses--are often hand-painted and highly duded-up;
we are envious

Kahramanmaras is the axis mundi of Turkish ice cream,
which is saying something, where the dovme dondurma,
beaten ice cream, was invented; so we stopped for a large
and very satisfying sample

Mado Cafe, east of Kahramanmaras, incredible pastries,
ice cream; very western...

We ascended finally to Karadut; the rain continued;
construction of a new drainage system had narrowed
and muddied the road, and so we pulled off into a
"campground" at the last moment

A day later, the situation looked better; sunny, parked
above a persimmon orchard; the campground (actually the
parking lot of a pension) minimal, but OK for 10YTL

This is not the pretty part of Turkey; the land is harsh; life
is harsh; most transportation is via animal, not car or truck;
the people are mostly Kurds; but welcoming and gentle just
the same

The old-fashioned way

No comments: