Magical flames burning in the rocks!

Trip Start Jul 28, 2009
Trip End Aug 10, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Turkey  , Antalya,
Sunday, May 30, 2010

After sightseeing and doing all the touristy stuff, we thought we would spend a couple days just relaxing and swimming.  We headed to Olympos which is famous for the tree house accommodations.  Well, its not really a tree house, but its right next to a tree.  The place where we stayed had the best home cooked meals!  We spent our days playing ping pong, backgammon and sitting around the comfortable lounge areas.  It kind of reminded us of Dahab, Egypt, except most of the people we met were on a 2 week holiday at the most where in Dahab, we met people that had traveled for a couple years!

We went to the beach which was filled with rocks and pebbles.  The water felt great except for walking into the water with those painful rocks.  Haven’t been barefoot too much on this trip, so my feet were a bit sensitive.  The hotel had a dog named Jake that we brought with us to the beach.  He was a beautiful lively and crazy golden retriever!  On the way back from the beach, he puked right in front of a restaurant and the owner came over and started yelling at us in Turkish.  I didn’t understand what he was saying but I could guess that he wanted me to clean it up.  So I asked another local to translate.  He wanted me to clean it up and I told him I would if he give me something to clean it up with.  But the other local told me not to worry about it and said that he is a miserable old man just looking to pick a fight with someone!

One evening, we headed up to the famous Chimaera where there are flames burning out of the rocks.  It is said that in the 2nd century BC, the people that lived here worshiped Vulcan, the god of fire.  The myth goes that the King sent Bellerophon on the winged horse Pegasus to kill the fire breathing monster, part lion, goat and serpent.  After he succeeded, he returned to marry the King’s daughter and became heir of the Lycian throne.

As we walked up the steep hill, we could smell the gas and when we arrived, it looked like people had set up a bunch of camp fires along the mountain.  Going up closer to the flames, it really did look like magic to see the flames burning through the rocks.  In the old days, some sailors used the flames as a lighthouse while they sailed along the coast.  The gas combusts on contact with air so even if you suffocate the flame, it will self ignite.  Pretty cool!

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