Another long bus ride to a mountain hostel in Nemrut Dagi. The weather started turning on us, and it wasn’t looking good for the planned early start the next morning to watch the sunrise from the mountain top with the ancient stone heads.

It was freezing when we arrived, and we discovered that our cute little hostel was not really equipped for cold weather with no hot water, and heaters and air-conditioning that didn’t work. We all survived the cold night, and were woken up at 4am for the walk up the mountain to see the sunrise. It was snowing and very windy as we departed the hostel, not the best conditions to be trekking up a steep mountain side. We huddled into a café at the base of the mountain, waiting for the weather to give us a pocket of relief. Wind, snow, sleet, rain and even hail! We were all keen, much to Jess’ dismay – she thought we were all mad.

There was a low mist, and no visibility, however we didn’t want to come all this way and not see these mysterious stone heads. Our Turkish driver was with us, and braved the extreme conditions encouraging us to follow. We ventured out when the rain let up. We trekked slowly up the moutain, steep, slippery shale underfoot, and the wind howling around us. It didn’t take long to reach the top. Standing silently in the mist were the mysterious large staring stone heads and the tomb of King Antiochus. The low cloud and dark dawn created a very eerie atmosphere. No sunrise, however it was still incredible to see. Jess stood there wrapped in a blanket cursing the group as we took photos and absorbed what we were seeing. When it began hailing with small ice flying into our faces at high speeds very uncomfortably, we decided we’d better descend. Surprisingly, we passed more crazy tourists as we descended!

Originally written for Intriguing Abstractions and Curious Diversions