Sunday, October 17, 2004

Cape Sunion

Saturday was our free day.  Katy and I had been planning all week what we should do; a lot of people were talking about the beach, be we didn't want to hang out there all day.  WE also talked about Sparta, but it was pretty far and would have been time-consuming and difficult to get to.  So, we looked through the booklets our tour guide had given us on our first day in Greece, and picked out the most beautiful picture and then tried to find out how to get there. 

We asked the tour guide, but he didn't have many ideas.  However, we found a tourist-info place Saturday morning and they told us about a bus going there for only 4,30€.  After some confusion (but we expect that by now), we found the right one.  It was nearly a two-hour ride, which was a little longer than we expected, but we had a good time to talk about what we're going to do with our room next semester and what we each already have.  *Reminder to self--ask Dad about bunk beds* 

We finally arrived at Cape Sunion, down on the southernmost tip of the peninsula that Athens is at the neck of.  On a cliff on a little peninsula jutting out into the sea is the ruins of an ancient temple to Poseidon.  It was as beautiful as we had hoped it would be.  Here's what I wrote while there in my notebook:

Right now I'm sitting on a rock look out into the Aegean Sea.  Behind me is the Temple of Poseidon, on Cape Sunion. Sunion is a little peninsula jutting out into the sea, so we're almost completely surrounded by water.  It's so peaceful here; all I can hear is the waves breaking against the cliffs.  

It's the first nice day for several days; it's been uncharacteristically cool and rainy this week, but today it's fairly sunny and balmy.  It was hot and humid in the city, but out here by the sea a nice breeze is blowing and it's close to perfect.  

There are rocky islands dotting the sea in every direction, just more of the mountains that are here on the mainland.  I hear crickets in the bushes.  This is a beautiful spot for a temple; I see why the ancients chose it.  It would make nearly anyone reflective and thoughtful out here watching the waves.  

The temple itself is in pretty good shape for as old as it is.  The tall columns standing guard on their little strip of land look regal, commanding.  It must have been a great sense of power for those who built it.  It's the first thing anyone approaching here by boat would see, towering over them on the cliff.  It can been seen without obstruction from any direction. 

We walked around for while and enjoyed the quiet.  The peace was so restful after two months of living in a small apartment with thirty-one people, and the past week in a charter bus with the same group.  I took a lot of pictures  before we caught the three-thirty bus back to Athens.

We were walking down the street toward the hotel when we ran into Troy, Chuck, and Dallas.  We joined them and walked around the touristy shops at the closest end of the Plaka for while, and then met Anna, Nicole, and Amy Manchester at Hard Rock.  We had a forty-five minute wait for a table that big, but it was fun as our Hard Rock evenings usually are.

I got the pig sandwich (my favorite) yet again, thinking maybe I just wasn't tasting very well on Monday, but no, the barbecue in Greece just isn't to my taste.  Our waiter was weird; we argued with him much of the meal about splitting our checks.

Anyhow, we went back to Syntagma and watched the changing of the guard again since a few people in our group hadn't stopped to watch it yet.   


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