Greece : Tete-a-Tete with the Sun and the Sea
Exploring mainland just outside Athense
Greece’s mainland is as invigorating as its natural islands. Some enjoy Greece for its majestic history whereas some enjoy peaceful beachline and calming waters.
Day 2: Visit to Apollo and Poseidon temple
Today was all about visiting places on the mainland that are little on the outskirts of Athens hence we opted for a car. We started our journey from Thissio around 9 in the morning and left for Corinth Canal. Greek Highways are amazing to sail and the roads that we took were as smooth as clouds.
Corinth Canal is an amazing sight that cuts right between Greece and connects the Saronic Gulf with the Gulf of Corinth. You will spot multiple cruise ships crossing in a single file with many of them being cruise liners and personal yachts. Corinth canal also has bungy jumping adventure right into the canal however, we were not able to enjoy it as it was closed on the day of our visit.
After spending some time on the canal, we moved forward towards the Ancient Temple of Apollo or the Sun God (Archaeological ruins of Corinth and Temple of Apollo). It is an archaeological site with ruins dating back to 560 BC and is among the first proof of water channels. Even though physically all these sites are the last remnants of what was the first educational hub and residence, with just a pinch of imagination you can feel everything come alive. You will find an amalgamation of Greek and Roman culture here and how influential both have been in their growth. If you are interested in the history of mankind, it is a gem of a place for you. History is something which has intrigued us a lot and experiencing what our ancestors achieved more than three thousand years back arouses astonishment and a feeling of accomplishment at the same time.
Our next stop was one of the most mythical creatures, Pegasus, the winged horse, the statue is easily approachable through Corinth city and faces the Gulf of Corinth. Statue acts as a recreational spot for local citizens and the site has been beautifully maintained for small get together and local events. Though the same cannot be said for the statue as I doubt it has been cleaned in a long time. We thoroughly enjoyed the vicinity and calm waters before we moved on with our itinerary.
To complete our Greek god trilogy, next halt was at the temple of Poseidon, and it is on the opposite side of Athens city, so now we had to travel back to Athens and then to Sounion, it is a two-hour drive, but worthy of every second as you sail through on Greek highway. Temple of Poseidon in Sounion overlooks the Aegean sea and it is one of the perfect spots for watching the sunset on mainland Greece. Temple of Poseidon is located on the hilltop and needs a 5–10-minute walk to reach the site, there is a restaurant along with the temple where you can get snacks and meals as you desire. You can still observe around 40% of Doric columns standing till present. It was one of the sites destroyed by Xerxes’ invasion of Greece.
As our journey to the mainland was about to be over and before we returned our chariot, we decided to travel along the coast roads and visit Lake Vouliagmeni, it was a small detour but worth the visit. Nestled in hills, the lake is an amazing resting place, and swimming spot (if you have time and euros in pocket). It was a perfect blend of a romantic evening with a restaurant in the vicinity offering great food and exquisite wine. We took a small halt and collected a few memories of the place before moving to the airport and concluding our day and Greek mainland journey for this visit.
Right from Sounion till Lake Vouliagmeni and a little further the road moved along the shoreline and gives you a feeling of Great Ocean Road, Australia, and thus not a miss chance when in Greece.
Our only challenge at the end of the day was locating Avis car rental at Athens Airport and we had ourselves to blame, and due to this blunder, we almost missed our next leg flight to party island – Mykonos!!
This was the end of another eventful day in Greece and we never expected that Greece’s mainland can offer this much in addition to its islands.
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