12/27 – Olympos is the ultimate in laid back. It’s where you come to relax, as there really isn’t much to do here. It was exclusively a hippie haven until 2009, when paving the road to to town enabled more tourists to get here. We’re happy for the quiet. We realize that this is the first time since arriving in Turkey in November that we have not heard the call to prayer throughout the day.
We walked down the road to the beach, and past the ruins of ancient Olympos. We will come back to explore the ruins another day, but today we are on our way to Mt. Olympos, to see the Chimaera, or Mountain of Fire. This mountain is one of twenty mountains that share this name, the home of the Ancient Greek gods. This hike is part of the Lycian Way.
We walk along the beach, until we come to an area where we have to cross a tidal pool. It’s off with our boots and socks, roll up our pants and ford across. The beach is rocky and the current is swift, but we both live to tell the tale!
We continue to walk along the beach, then take the road at Çirali, another little hamlet of tree houses and huts.
When we see a sign, we know we’re getting close.
The Chimaera is a mythical creature with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a serpent, which breathed fire. He was slain by Bellaphon, with the help of his winged horse, Pegasus.
Here we see our first turkey in Turkey!
We follow the path up the mountain.
…and up some more!
At the top of the mountain, eternal flames erupt from the rocks. Methane seeps out from the rocks and burns continually.
Both the Greeks and the Christians built temples here, and we walk among the ruins.
You can still see some painted decoration in a dome of the Christian church:
The view from the top of the mountain is gorgeous.