The Chimaera was a fearsome, fire-breathing monster of Greek legends, made from a combination of three animals - lion, goat and snake.
She was the sister of Cerberus, the three headed guard dog of Hades, and the multi-headed Hydra which was famously killed by Hercules.
Interestingly, her father was Typhon, known as "the father of all monsters" - logically, this must mean that this bunch were her siblings, too!
|Mothra & The Peanuts|
The Chimera was eventually killed by the another Greek hero called Bellerophon riding Peagsus the famous flying horse...
|A photo of Bellerophon...|
So, why am I telling you all this (apart from any excuse to publish the Bellerophon photo)?
Cirali is said to be the birthplace of the legend of the Chimaera.
Nearby there's a hilltop, now called Mount Chimera, which is lit up by naturally occurring fires.
An unknown gas escapes from underground, and spontaneously combusts when it reaches the air.
Apparently, these flames aren't extinguished by strong rain, and if a vent becomes blocked the gas just finds a new route to the surface.
Currently, there are maybe a dozen flames on the hill - they are even visible from the sea.
The Mount Chimera has inevitably been called "Hell On Earth".
To get there I had a 30 minute torchlit climb up a white stone staircase.
Contrary to popular wisdom the way the Hell leads upwards not down.
|Climbing the Stairway To Hell|
Finally, off in the distance I see the fires...
And finally I arrive...