If anyone pays attention to the Olympics, the opening ceremony ends with the lighting of the flame. The final torch bearer is a special honor, someone respected in the host country, but what is really extraordinary is that the flame is carried by a relay of bearers that begins months before the games in Olympus, the original site of the ancient games. The flame tradition continues, by way of parabolic mirror reflecting the sun’s rays, the flame is lit by women dressed up as priestesses in front of the Temple of Hera. However, the next Olympics will be winter games so the flame will be lit by the Coubertin Memorial. Pierre Coubertin was present for the lighting in 1936 when this tradition was re-ignited prior to the Berlin Olympics.
From what I can tell South Korea is still trying to stage their relay through their country for the 2018 games so the actual lighting date in Olympus is still TBA, making it difficult for me to plan and book flights and hotels, because I want to be there to see this moment. I was fortunate enough to visit some Greek Isles in 2011 and I’ve been dreaming of my return ever since so why not return and see more of the country during this special time. In the meantime, I’ve signed up for the Olympics newsletter and will be stalking the website for updates. In the meantime, look at the different ways that the torch has been carried. Most people envision a runner carrying the torch, but it has been carried on a row boat, held by swimmers, and even underwater for the Sydney games. The whole relay will be something special to watch.
Here are some places that I’m trying fit together in this trip, not sure if it will work out, but I happened to see some beautiful resorts that could be great for my trip.
– Nikki Beach Resort & Spa,, Porto Heli
This might not be the most ideal. It’s a four-hour drive from Olympus and not sure how I would set up a transfer like that. Maybe I need to look for resorts on the western coast of the mainland. Hmm…also, this resort closes in winter so not sure if it will be open during the time I need.
– Zante Maris Suites, Zakynthos
This is an island just off the coast. It’s a little better, as it’s about a 2 ½ hour transfer according to Google Maps but includes a ferry.
I think you can tell I’m not a backpacker hostel type of traveler. I wish I was and if I had done more traveling in my 20s I probably would have been, but working for a higher end travel company, I’ve been a bit spoiled so I look for a deal among nice properties, trying to compare prices, and researching the off-season when prices back down a bit, but weather might still be just nice enough to go.
How many months before will the flame be lit? The Olympics will be in Pyeongchang Feb 9-25, 2018!