SUNSET AT THE TEMPLE OF POSEIDON

by - 10:53 PM


Words and Photos by:  Anthony Parcon

A trip to Cape Sounion is an encounter with a different world. A tourist visiting for the first time at this site would either be perplexed or dumbfounded by the bizarre but scenic and composed milieu, a very direct contrast to the busy and life on the fast lane in cosmopolitan Athens.


Travelling for two hours from the Greek capital by bus or coaster to this southernmost tip of Attica peninsula for a distance of 69 kilometers, going through the scenic and classy coastal suburbs of Glyfada, Voula, Vouliagmeni, and Varkiza , one can pass through sun worshippers enjoying an idyllic beach, a group of men fishing , windsurfing, or simply cruising the Saronic Gulf.



Although there's a suggestion to travel to this site in the morning to avoid the mudding crowd waiting for the most beautiful sunset all over Greece, afternoon is still the best time in my opinion to visit this unique attraction. On the day that I went to this amazing place, I came from Vouliagmeni so it just took me more than an hour before I reach my destination. 


The bus arrived near the entrance booth of The Temple of Poseidon at around four o'clock. Based on my research on the internet, sunset could be at 6:43 for that day so I had more than enough time to tour around the panoramic and breathtaking view of the peninsula surrounded by the sea on its three sides.


The Temple of Poseidon was built on 5th B.C. and like The Parthenon, it is also of Dorian architecture. Although the bronze statue of the Sea God has been transferred to the National Archeological Museum in Athens for safekeeping, the presence of Poseidon guarding the sea, watching the Greek soldiers to return for their loved ones after the war during the ancient times or guiding the merchants and traders on their journey to faraway lands can still be felt here.



One drawback of a solitary traveler is you don't have anyone to take your photo and I don't attempt to do a selfie photo session during travel.  So on every place that I visit, I searched for someone preferably a solo traveler like me to do the shoot for me and in return I'll take his or her too. In Sounion, I was fortunate to find one at the entrance kiosk.  There was a lovely fair looking girl more or less in her late teens or early twenties; ascending toward the temple so I greeted her, "Hola!" although I was not certain if she really spoke Espanol, I was  just in the mood to say Spanish as inspired by the Spanish-speaking horde of tourists I saw earlier at the café. And, I was not in vain! Although she did not speak the language per se, she understood it since she spoke Portuguese; she was from Belem, Brazil after all and they are surrounded by their Spanish-speaking neighbors on the west, north and south.


I capitalized on some general knowledge trivia I know that connects our two different countries to steer up the conversation. I asked her if she know knew this cool fact: The Philippines is the exact antipode nation on the globe of Brazil. Meaning it is the point of the earth's surface that is direct opposite to it, if you're going to connect a straight line from The Philippines passing through the earth's inner core, you'll end up in Brazil!

One of the temple's visitors is the prominent English Romanticist poet, George Lord Byron, who left his graffiti somewhere in the temple and if you have a camera with a decent lens or if bring with you a binoculars, you can check his famous inscriptions written in one of the ancient columns.

Temple Entrance: 4 Euro


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