Monday, September 26, 2011
Chimera: Eternal Flames in Cirali near Olympos, Turkey
Cirali, Turkey's beach is about 3 or 4 kilometers long on the Mediterranean Sea. The water is clear and perfect swimming temperature. At the south end lies the ruins of Olympos, where people worshipped Hephaestrus, the fire god. Walk to the north end of the beach and up the hill (3.75TL entry fee) to see why. The Chimera, the eternal flames.
At the top, sure enough, there's a rocky slope with little fires scattered up the hillside. Some barely burn; others blast out pretty well, providing heat to those nearby. Although I comprehend how natural gas could seep out of rock, I do not understand the source of ignition that could keep these fires burning for thousands of years.
Tips for travelers: Both roads lead to the entrance. For fun, bring marshmallows. My iPhone 4 with the flashlight app provided enough light to get back down the hill. It also shot better photographs than the my Nikon Coolpix, and this video too: