Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sounion and Temple of Poseidon

When I think of Greece in general, I tend to think of old ruins and blue water. Our day trip to Sonion had both of those things! We boarded a bus from the Victoria station at 10 in the morning and spent the one and a half hour journey south talking and doing trivia for peanuts. That may sound like a joke, but we really had peanuts, and Jenna and Jaime quizzed us all on Princess Bride and biology facts (you know you're traveling with researchers when...) in exchange for the limited supply of shelled peanuts. 

When we arrived, our first impression was wow, it's windy here, and it remained that way our entire trip. It was a beautiful, sunny day with few clouds in the sky, but boy was the wind about to knock us over. The scenery wasn't too bad either. 

The temple of Poseidon is in a really perfect spot. You can totally see why someone stopped and decided to build a temple here. It's beautiful, you can see for miles, and if you're going to dedicate a temple to the god of the sea, a cliff surrounded by water seems like an ideal place. There was once a settlement here, and a few remains of the walls of the old city remain intact, as well as signs telling you where things might have been. 

The bus dropped us off at the entrance to the temple area, with a restaurant, bathrooms, and gift shop. You can go left to do a bit of hiking (as it's a cliff area, there's not a ton of hiking to do and it's pretty light) or go right to the temple. We decided to hike, and I guess by hike I mean climb on all kinds of things and get dangerously close to the edge.

Carson jumped in that little pool there... all but Jordyn and I climbed down to the water. What with the wind, we decided that viewing from above was more our style.

There was a fee to walk around the temple ruins (for the time of year I think it was 4 Euro and doubles during the peak time of year), but only I had to pay it, because Athens is apparently really amazing and doesn't make EU students pay for admission.

We were getting hungry, so we marched down this little path next to terrifying razor wire and thorny bushes (choose your poison) toward the beach.

We stopped for lunch at the first place we came to from the beach. I don't remember the name, but there were cats basically swarming the place. Carson, Jaime, and Jenna were in heaven as cat people and the rest of us sort of tolerated them. Jordyn got used as a scratching post, which didn't increase her loving feelings for these cats.

We wanted a beach, and though there was one in front of us, we decided we'd like something more private, so we kept walking along the rocks until we'd spotted the perfect place. We found a little cove where we were slightly shielded from the wind and could soak up some sun.

Carson and Lloyd bravely swam out to this rock. That water was not remotely warm, so I hope it was worth it. The rest of us discussed playing April Fools jokes (it was the first of April), but no one came up with anything great, so we finished the day prank free.

While soaking the sun into our German-winter skin, we beachcombed. Everyone returned with a fair amount of beach glass or pretty shells.

As a last stop, before we made it back to the Temple of Poseidon where our bus would pick us up, we walked up to the Temple of Athena, where the lighting was absolutely magical.

For dinner that night, we stopped and ate gelato from a stand near the Monastiraki station and picked up some popcorn kernels at a kiosk to really round out our meal back at the apartment. The entire trip we'd said we were going to have a night where we played cards and charades, but that night didn't happen at all, and instead we did what we did in Bulgaria and watched YouTube clips. The clip that we watched more than once was one from Louis C.K. called "Of Course... But Maybe" (I think there was some language) while munching popcorn from the colander (the apartment didn't have a big bowl!).

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