In 2012 Jason and I were staying in the Plaka area in Athens with some friends and decided to take a bus out of town and explore the countryside. The Temple of Poseidon in Sounion seemed like the perfect place to go. After our obligatory trip to the insanely crowded Parthenon the previous day, the Poseidon temple looked comparatively peaceful and more isolated. Plus, there is so much history and mythology associated with the temple and the cliff on which it perches.
As the story goes, the famed ancient king of Athens, Aegeus, waited on the cliff for his son Theseus to return from battling the Minotaur. Before Theseus had left his father told him that if he should somehow slay the Minotaur and return safely, to raise a white sail on the incoming ship. Theseus did defeat the monster and return in one piece, but somehow forgot to hoist the white sail. Seeing the dark sailed ship, Aegeus threw himself off the cliff and into the ocean in grief. Now, the Aegean sea is named after him.
We recruited our friends Ken and Jen, had a street side lunch, and grabbed a bus schedule. It seemed simple to get there…just go to a bus stop about a mile from our hotel and wait for the bus with the right sign on the front. Our schedule indicated they would be by every 30 minutes or so. About 2 hours later and much back and forth over whether to just give up, the bus finally came around the bend and we loaded our sweaty, mentally exhausted selves on to the comfy seats. The drive out took about an hour and a half, and was lovely.
The temple itself was majestic and beautiful, with its tall, widely spaced stone columns and the backdrop of the sparkling sea below added to the grandeur. The lack of masses of sweaty tourists was a huge plus as well:)
We had some time before the return trip back, so we hiked down to a rocky beach with a few beers and had a swim in the inky blue Mediteranean waters. Definitely worth the 2 hour wait for the bus!