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Olympos Travel Blog› entry 513 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Donald (Australia), Ertan (Turkey)
Having reached the turn off for Olympos, Ertan and I disembarked from the dolmush at a little roadside cafe and were told that the next shuttle bus was due in 30 minutes. We ordered some tea and Ertan called Kadirs Tree houses to make sure that the information on the dolmush was accurate. Even though we received the same story from Kadirs, we ended up having to wait for 90 minutes, which got a little bit frustrating, especially as Ertan had to go back to Kale in the afternoon.
We got down to Olympos just before midday and i was pleased to see that Donald was still there, as he had originally planned to leave the day before.
To be honest, I was pretty amazed by the extent of what was on offer, with countless crumbling buildings in the woods, with a totally authentic and unrestored feel to them. It made me realise what a total piss head i had been the last time i had passed through this neck of the woods, to not even bother looking around properly, but at least i now had a second chance! We spent a fair amount of time picking our way through the ancient Roman ruins, which included a dilapidated theatre and plenty of tombs.
Exiting on the beach we climbed up to the Genoese castle that loomed above the shore and gave lovely panoramas of the bay below. Clambering back down we walked along the pebbly beach and stopped at a deserted restaurant to eat some fruit that we had brought along with us. It was a far cry from the summer months, when the beach is teeming with holiday makers and cruise ships are anchored for the night. In some respects i missed the vibrancy, but in others i really appreciated the solitude.
Both of us were starting to get hungry, so we left the beach and went for a chip butty, before heading back to Kadirs. Ertan caught the 17.00 dolmush and it was sad to see him leave, he had been a great host and a good friend for the last few days. I sat in the communal dining room and used the internet for half an hour, before Dinner was served just after 18.
To work off the excesses of the meal, Donald and I walked to Chimaera, which are 'eternal flames', located on the lower slopes of Mount Olympos. To reach the site we had to walk along the beach to the town of Cirali, crossing a freezing cold stream in barefoot along the way. From here we took a country road that winded its way past a nicely illuminated mosque and then up to the flames. We didn't really have the need for a torch, as the full moon lit the way for us, and it reminded me that the last time i had seen the full moon was on that memorable morning at Nemrut Dagi.
There are several legends connected to the flames, which include a mythical beast, or possibly the buried son of Typhon, who was defeated with the aid of Pegasus the flying horse. In reality the flames are actually a natural phenomenon, created by a gas that ignites when coming into contact with the air. Its one of those peculiar occurrences that has you stood there, wondering what the hell is going on! After half an hour of gawking at the flames we decided to make our way back to Olympos, stopping to buy an Efes to take with us along the way. All in, it was a 14km round trip, but having Donald and Efes to keep me company certainly made it worthwhile!
On Monday morning i really didn't want to get out of bed. It had been a restless night due to the cold and even three thick blankets hadn't been enough to keep me warm! Thankfully breakfast got the metabolism going and i warmed up even more having taken a shower.
I spent the rest of my day basking in the warm sun and writing my blog, before deciding enough was enough and i caught the 15.00 dolmush up to the main road with Donald. We just had time to grab a yummy gozleme (Turkish pancake) at the road stop cafe, before hopping on a passing dolmush to Antalya. It had been another wonderful visit to Olympos and only fueled my passion to want to come back again - next time i reckon an autumn vacation is in order.