Travel to the crater of Nemrut volcano is a wild, but at the same time colorful place, about which we knew nothing but the same name as Mount Nemrut, from where we descended after a "meeting" with the gods through the Diyarbakir wasteland, dotted with large boulders. Located in the eastern part of Turkey near Lake Van, named after King Nimrod, this crater is the largest in the country and the fourth in Europe with the status of a dormant volcano.
It was last active in the distant 1692. Its large caldera holds five lakes, and the eponymous Nemrut golu is the second largest crater lake in the world with a depth of 176 meters. In the late afternoon we arrive in Bitlis, a small and quiet town the size of Turkey, populated mainly by Kurds. We quickly check into the hotel and set off to explore the crater. We also take thick clothes with us, that at sunset the weather will probably be different. The road there is excellent, but a large displacement is overcome and it is very steep.
During the winter, the most snow falls here in the country and lasts for five months, which is ideal for winter sports fans. But how do they get on these roads? We manage to arrive in time for the last rays of the sun, which sets behind the high hills of the dormant volcano. The road enters the crater and descends to the lakes, but we remain in the high part. From here we see a small part of the large lake Nemrut in the distance.
Only the nearby flat shore and the amazing relief of the opposite hills can be seen. In clear weather, a large-scale panorama would open up here - hopefully tomorrow. Tired of the long journey during the day we descend to Beatles again it is already dark and we will have to look for a place dinner.
A non-tourist city, apparently things happen here during the day. We are returning home, because tomorrow we will have a long trek through the Nemrut crater. We take the familiar steep road and park the car at the entrance to the crater volcano lake. From here we step on the ridge - it's time to move.
It is clear and sunny at the moment, but the low clouds are quickly changing everything. One of them looks like it is hanging on the top of a nearby hill, and a rare fog seems to have fallen around us. We are in the clouds at over 2500 meters and the dynamic weather changes its state in minutes. And yet today the picture is much more colorful and saturated than yesterday. We move without a clear path, following the relief of the crater ridge. Unfortunately, Van is shrouded in fog again and does not want to be shown, but the deeply grooved fields descending to him are clearly visible.
Sivritepe rises to 2935 meters, it is the highest point of the dormant volcano and is a guide to where to go. At times when the sun goes down, the wind is icy and we have to choose the leeward side where it is better. The constant descent and ascent warms us and so we do not feel the cold. We approach one of the seasonal lakes, which is fed by the rains, and we see a large flock of sheep coming down to it and eagerly lining the shore to drink water.
So far we have been with Sivritepe and the other peaks, it's time to explore the lower part with the lakes. Our only landmark is the great lake Nemrut, but there we have to cross half of the crater. So we shorten through the slope covered with dry grass. It is as if we are in a desert flooded by them. It is already much warmer in the lowlands, there is no wind and the high humidity is felt. Rising walls up to 600 meters high surround the entire perimeter and protect from winds.
In places we pass through small resemblances to craters dotted with low bushes and birch-white trees with curved stems. We enjoy in a trance the silence and the captivating picture, until a bus with Turkish tourists arrives on the nearby dirt road. One wonders where they are taken in an organized manner. The silence abruptly disappeared, and with it we.
We head to the big lake, the color of which attracts us like a magnet. We cross several low hills covered with dry grass and face its high shore. The view is worth the long walk.