Tuesday, October 23, 2012

(PART 2) ATHENS: ACADEMIA, ANTIQUITY AND ARCHITECTURE

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion
High above the Aegean Sea, at Cape Sounion (43 miles SSE of Athens), the southernmost tip of the Attica Peninsula, the Temple of Poseidon (444-400 BC) was erected by the ancient Athenians, under the reign of Pericles.
Poseidon, God of the Sea
Cape Sounion is famous for a very popular Greek myth. In accordance to the legend, believing his son, Theseus, had been killed in a competition with the Minotaur of Crete, King Aegeus, of Athens, took his own life, and jumped into the sea that bears his name, after spotting the black sails on the returning ship, as Theseus had forgotten to hoist white ones, signifying his victory.
The Aegean Sea
A more recent 'legend’ states that the Romantic poet, Lord Byron, carved his name on one of the temple’s marble columns, when he visited Sounion twice, from 1810 to 1811, on his Grand Tour of Europe. The poet’s name is, indeed, engraved on the stone, but it has yet to be proven that the inscription was, in fact, his own.
Lord Byron's Inscription


Heading back towards the capital, this outdoor mall, near Spata, boasts a neoclassical style, complete with pastel hues and shady pergolas, a perfect spot to cool off with a refreshing drink, after some serious power shopping! 



On a thickly forested hilltop in Athens, we visited a beautiful monastery, with panoramic views of the city below.



 Hanging in the hot, mid-morning sun, the church bells, still and silent, were off duty until evening mass.

 As we took our last stroll through the downtown core, we were delighted to stumble upon a fall flower exhibit, which dotted the wide city square with rich, bright blooms and enthusiastic admirers.
Well, that was our trip to the capital and it was a nice distraction from the regular routine. Back on the island, the temperature has dropped and the layering of clothes has increased. So, light the fire, bake the cake and let the cocooning begin! 
Varkiza, a suburb, south of Athens
Thanks for visiting!

Poppy

All images: Poppy View, 
except where otherwise noted



6 comments:

  1. Beautiful photographs! I find Greek legend fascinating. If those ruins could only speak! How fun to come across a flower exhibit!

    Thanks for sharing!

    leslie

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  2. Lord Byron a graffiti artist? Yikes! How low do temps go on your island in winter? What a wonderful thing to be able to walk among those ancient walls! ~ Maureen

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    1. Hi Maureen,

      Supposedly 'Graffiti Artist' before his rise to famous Romantic Poet and Politician. Interestingly, he died in Greece, while fighting against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, when he developed a fever that proved fatal. For his devotion and courage, he remains a true national hero of this country.

      Re: Cretan winter temps...average low from December to February is 10 - 7 degrees Celsius. The island has a temperate climate. But, believe it or not, I crave those cold (sometimes freezing!) Canadian temps. Crazy, right?

      Poppy

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  3. Looks like it was a lovely trip! Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us. :) Thanks also for stopping by my blog and following. It's great to meet you!

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  4. Oh Poppy, how I long to visit your beautiful part of the world someday! Thank you so much for these photos and for sharing your life with us. I find it endlessly fascinating!

    xo
    Claudia

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  5. Wow, there's so much to take in. Such a rich history and so much beauty in the architecture and the scenery, but it is always nice to get home and get comfy again. Sounds like you have the best of both worlds.
    Liz

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate hearing from all of you! Have a great day!