Well we have come down from Mt. Nimrut and spent last night in Osmaniye. It was more congested and hectic than I remembered and we had to make a half dozen u-turns until we found a hotel we had stayed in during our 2009 sojourn. Upon parking (that was a chore) I noticed a wicked dent on the hood from a rock, glad we have full coverage!
By the way, I dislike the car greatly. It is an Opel (I forgot the model) a small thing with transmission I still haven't completely figured out. Is it an automatic or a manual? No clutch but 1-5 gears. Very difficult in the lower gears to go so I say a few bad words now and again. By the way it is costing about 90 dollars to fill the tank.
Someone is smoking in the next room and it is coming into ours through the bath.
To continue our tale we spent 2 nice days in Urfa visiting the various
Sites therein and around like Gobeklitepe, Harran (not so nice and 7 miles from Syria) and some other Neolithic and Hititte sites.
We then drove to Mt. Nimrut and stopped in Adyiaman at the museum, loaded up on some junk to eat and drink and headed to Nimrut (google the place).
On the way to Nimrut we decided to stop by a few other ancient places (they have no milk in our hotel for coffee, yuk) which meant we would have to take a rather unorthodox approach to the mountain we seeking. Michelle led us up and around back and forth along windy, steep and mostly unpaved roads as we slowly made our way. We even had to ask a Shepard for directions and finally we were on a long, dusty gravel road which seemed way out of the way when suddenly we found a paved road, turned left instead of right, and found our hotel. It was a miracle but Michelle is a pretty good navigator and I was pretty proud of her on this day.
Hotel Eufrat was the place and it was run by a sweet woman from Holland. We quickly had a coffee then drove up the mountain and raced up the long, hideous walkway pummeled by cold and wind, above the tree line until we made the western platform and got to watch the sunset. Magical!
Then we went back down and ate dinner then relaxed and chatted with another American guy and some French tourists.
We awoke at 4AM (yes I did) and drove up to the mountain again, raced, well actually stumbled, up the hideous path around to the eastern platform and watched the sunrise over the monument. Just fabulous and this is actually our second time doing this as we did it in 2010 as well. Good stuff Maynard!
Ok, we then left Euphrat hotel and eased back through Aidyiaman toward we were we are at now, Osmaniye. Along the way we visited a Roman bridge (rather sad and dilapidated but spanning a lovely part of the Euphrates river. The drive was beautiful with fields of lava flows at one point and we stopped for gas (185 Turkish lira - 90 dollars!) then went behind the station and climbed on the lava! Well I did while Michelle was using the lu.
So this morning we sit amongst gold slip-covered chairs and a noisy town having black coffee, bread and honey (they have some way salty cheese and some kind if processed mystery meat we are steering clear of!
We are off to Issus, Hierapolis-Kastabala, Epiphaneia and Hititte Karatepe and will probably pass on Anazarbus as we have been there 4-5 times already.
Will check back soon!
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