While we were waiting for the contract for the purchase of our boat to be drawn up we had a couple of days in which to relax and just be tourists in and around Athens
On previous trips to Greece (many years ago and not with each other) we hadn’t really explored much of mainland Greece so it was a real delight to be able to drive up the coast a little from Alimos Marina in Athens to the Athens Riviera- otherwise known as the Coast of Apollo.
Heading for the small port town of Lavrio near Cape Soúnion, we enjoyed the spectacular coast road before heading inland to cross the Attic Peninsula.
Lavrio (also known as Lavrion or Larium) was famous for its silver mining in antiquity and even today you can still see evidence of mine workings.
The town itself is quite small but there are a number of nice looking tavernas and cafes dotted around. We found a very welcoming spot to eat where the Greek salad was served with a veritable slab of feta cheese and the local sardines were flavoursome and combined well with delicious French fries and crusty local bread. A tin jug of red wine served in glass beakers rounded off the perfect meal.
Later on we decided to visit nearby Cape Soúnion, the southernmost tip of the Attic Peninsula. In our usual haphazard way we hadn’t done a whole heap of research into the area so it was a wonderful surprise to arrive at the Cape as the sun set and witness the magnificence of the Temple of the mighty god of the Sea, Poseidon (the equivalent of the Roman god, Neptune).
Built between 444–440 BC, the temple’s remaining white marble columns dominate the skyline and glowed magnificently in the rays of the setting sun. As it became darker floodlight were switched on and then a sliver of a new moon rose! What a beautiful sight.
The following day we took the tram into Athens and had a great time wandering through a fruit and veg market, eating lunch and visiting the magnificent Acropolis Museum which opened in 2009. The museum was fantastic – it houses every artifact found on the Acropolis Rock and surrounding slopes -all 4,000 of them – as well as displaying the Parthenon marbles.
The museum is built over an extensive archaeological site which can be viewed through the glass floors. The excavations below are still in progress but will be open to the public in time.
The building itself is lovely – full of light and with great display spaces. From the north side of the Parthenon hall, we could see the ancient temple above on the Acropolis.
We had a lovely day but the ending wasn’t so good. When we arrived back to our camper van – parked in a massive restaurant car park in Alimos Marina- we found that we had been broken into!
Thankfully, the thieves must have been disturbed as there was absolutely nothing taken. However the biggest window had been broken and there was mess everywhere with clothes pulled out of cupboards etc.
Of course, it was disappointing but we were thankful that the only real damage was the broken window and with nothing taken we didn’t feel too upset. However, rather than risk another visit by the thieves we decided to move to a proper campsite the following day for the rest of our stay in Athens.