A beach stop at Cirali and the Chimaera

Trip Start Feb 23, 2008
Trip End Jun 05, 2008

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Flag of Turkey  , Antalya,
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We met for food at 9am and it felt good to have a little sleep in.   A few of us went for a walk down to the marina, saw the small pebble beach, the waterfall and the boats in the Roman Harbour.   I quickly went to the book exchange and swapped the book i had just finished for another all for 2 euro...
A small mini bus picked us up so we could head down the coast to Cirali -- the drive to our first stop was pretty much the same as yesterday through picturesque green mountainsides.   Just before lunch we stopped at the ruins of Phaselis, founded around the 6th century BC.  The aqueduct is in really good condition - it carried water from the hills to the city.   It had beautiful harbours and baths and a huge theatre.  With a little encouragement from us our guide EG sat us down and sang a song - the sound in the theatre was amazing no matter where you sat.    Our old friend Hadrian had showed up here too as there was a gate in his honour -- he really did get around!   We hopped back on the bus and cruised to the local trout farm -- after a long drive down a hill we were rewarded with another awesome meal.... We sat in a small square area that had been built over the little stream...all the wildlife, the ducks etc just roamed around us... It was food, food and more food - a few of us got the meat dish and it contained chops, lamb and chicken skewers and meatballs... huge salad all for 15 euro... great deal!   After we laid down and let our food settle we checked out the other animals that were in the place then hopped on the bus for the short drive to Cirali.  Our hotel was pretty basic but we did not mind at all -- the beach nearby was great and we headed there straight away.  It was like the beaches in Italy - made of rocks...  I went for a quick swim and almost froze myself to death.  There was a really strong current and cross wind so i made it down the beach ok but struggled to get back.  I had to hop out and walk and almost struggled to do that as well!  
We laid down on the beach and warmed up and read our books then went back to the hotel and chilled.   Dinner was at the hotel and after we all rugged up in layers to walk up nearby Mt Olympos to see the Chimaera.   
After we passed the rabid german shepherd (if it was off the leash i would have been very very petrified!) we walked about 20 mins up the hill with our torches and eventually came to the flames.   
The flames are natural and its thought that there are gases (probably methane) that seep from the earth and rocks that cause them to occur.. its really quite amazing and I really should have thought about bringing the marshmallows!   Bizarre sight...
We settled by one of the bigger flames with the 2 bottles one wine that we had bought up - didn't take long to drink them and it was hard to get off our butts and make the trek back down - so warm and cozy and peaceful up there... !
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