First stop was Oludeniz (or "the blue lagoon")
. Although this was a bit of a tourist debacle, I absolutely loved this place. The beach was so picturesque. We both regretted the fact that we didn't have enough time to go paragliding off the adjacent mountains (which is the thing to do when in this area). Oh well, next time.
We then returned to the hotel, checked out and began our four hour trip along the "Lycian Coast" to Cirali. This leg of the trip (map
) took in some of the most spectacular coastline I have ever seen (Lee: Thailand meets Switzerland, seriously!) We made it as far as Kalkan before pulling over for some lunch. This was another great little seaside town where again we could have spent a lot longer.
After many more stops for photos (Lee: mostly photos out the window at high speed) and a swim, we finally made it to Cirali. Cirali is just around the headland from Olympos and consists of one dirt-road that runs along the beach, with a handful of accommodation and dining options. We checked into our hotel (Lee: the hotelier smacked of Fantasy Island: de plane, de plane!
) and hit the beach for one more swim before the sun started to set.
With dusk approaching, we changed into our walking shoes (Lee: Sam did
. I chose the Tigers. Fail.) and hiked up to the Chimaera. The Chimaera is also called "the eternal flames" and are a fascinating natural phenomenon on a rocky mountainside where about a dozen flames come out of rock with no apparent fuel to sustain them. The flames are apparently burning a sort of methane gas that has been venting from the earth on this rocky slope for thousands of years. Very cool to see... I only wish we took some marshmallows!
After an exhausting day, we had dinner by the pool at our hotel and collapsed for the night. (Lee: Today felt like a week crammed into one day. Tops.)
Sam: The 11th of June was such a memorable day for me... we seemed to fit so much into the day and everything we did and saw was truly fantastic. It began at 8:00am when we left our room for breakfast (which was included in our accommodation package). We caught the lift to the rooftop and were both totally gobsmacked by what lay before us... a buffet breakfast on the roof, overlooking the marina. The ambience was incredible and the food was unreal. The buffet was so extensive, we didn't know where to start. Lee counted six different sorts of olives, multiple cheeses, eggs done every way you can imagine, fresh fruit, muesli and the list goes on. (Lee: Sam forgot to mention the all-you-can-eat toasted Turkish bread!) The view from this restaurant was spectacular and the chef cooked a mean omelette. I could have sat here for hours, but we had some serious exploring to do.