A Travellerspoint blog

Everything Comes from Greece

Or so Teddy says

View Greece 2022 on JackiesJourneys's travel map.

Monday, October 17

Today’s big adventure was going to be the half day tour I had booked before leaving for Greece. I wasn’t getting picked up for that until 2:15, so that left a whole morning to fill. First order of business was to fill my belly with some of the yummy breakfast items at the hotel. Then I was on a mission to find that original Olympic stadium, the Panathenaic Stadium!!

This mission just so happened to get me to Syntagma Square just in time for another changing of the guard ceremony. How could I pass that up?! And good thing I didn’t, because today I got to see their regular uniform costumes.


Pascale had given me directions on how to get there, but that didn’t turn out so well for me on Sunday 🤦🏽‍♀️ So that night, I researched the location and was baffled as to how I did not see it cause it I felt like I had been right over in that area. But let’s try this again.

I got to the other side of the garden and thought, yep, this all looks familiar. Found a sports complex which was listed on my map and now I was truly baffled. Like where is this stadium as it should be right here?? What am I missing?! That’s when I turned around, looked up, and spotted it across the street. I probably missed it by less than a block yesterday. I mean it’s not like it’s this huge marble structure with a whole row of flags by it or anything 🤪


I bought my ticket and by the entrance found out it comes with a free audio guide. Yay…I love those things! All the fun facts and history and info, but you can go at your own pace. And well this one was really well done…hello cheers as I entered the stadium from the athletes’ tunnel…why thank you!

The stadium itself is crazy beautiful and impressive. Completely rebuilt according to its original plan, it is made entirely of white marble. I got to sit in the thrown chairs, both the original location ones and the ones moved to a more prime viewing spot. The track is open and there were school groups out using it. I did get to walk out on it as well…and I gotta say I felt faster just being there 😂 I also climbed to the top to see the gorgeous views of Athens the upper levels provide. But boy was it windy up there. Thought I was gonna get blown over at a few points (I think those extra gelatos helped keep me in place 😉).




Included with the ticket is also a walk down the special tunnel, which led to an area housing the various Olympic torches. And at the end is a little podium you can be crowned medalist on - I naturally went with gold medal status. It’s crazy to think of all the people that have walked here since it hosted the first contemporary Olympic Games in 1896. Being a huge fan of all things Olympics, I thoroughly loved my time here.


From there I just meandered my way back through the gardens toward Monastiraki Square. Today’s street food koulouri was a fancy variety. Stuffed with turkey, tomato, and cream cheese, it was quite a delight. And then of course the requisite gelato stop - this time I went with a two scooper of coconut and salted caramel peanut. Oh so tasty.


By this point, I figured I should start heading back to the hotel to make my 2:15 pickup for the Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon tour. It started out with me hopping into a minibus with a fine looking Greek man without asking any questions 🤷🏽‍♀️🤣 He did seem to know my last name, so there was that. I found out his name was Soteri and that we had 11 other people to pick up.

Soteri (meaning safety curiously enough), was the driver and his pal Teddy was the guide. And well Teddy was quite the character, but also pretty amazing. He had everyone’s name down pat and kept quizzing us on things…for points that counted for nothing. He was a wealth of history and knowledge; but if he didn’t know he would gladly ask google (although I don’t think he ever resorted to that). One of the curious facts we found out along the way is that in Greece, one year of military service is still mandatory for all males at age 18 or following university. Soteri was in the navy and Teddy the army.

Our first stop was a view point overlooking Lake Vouliagmeni or “sunken lake.” In the heart of the Athenian Riviera, this is a natural thermal spring. Although the wind was pretty brisk, there were quite a few people swimming. Teddy said the lake was probably about 75 or so degrees and very nice.


Next we had a beach stop at Alopigia. By this point clouds were rolling in and the wind was really whipping, so no one partook in any swimming. But it was a lovely relaxing little place.


Back on the minibus and off to the lookout point across from the Temple. Besides our first views, we got some info there, as Teddy would not be joining us inside the Temple site. We would have time to walk around and scope it out and wait for the sunset.


Built from about 444 to 400 BC, the Temple is devoted to Poseidon, the God of the Sea. Serving as the watchtower to the Port of Piraeus, it overlooks the Aegean Sea and its 6000 islands and islets. Although only 16 of the original 38 giant marble columns are still standing, they serve as the perfect compliment to the sunset color explosion behind them. As Teddy and Soteri pointed out, every day it looks different (they have even seen a greenish aurora borealis looking color and said the full moons are incredible). With the clouds today, the sky was a bit angry and dramatic. But Teddy found the drama fitting as Greeks invented drama.

The wind up there was pretty brutal as it’s on the edge of a cliff 70 meters (230 feet) up. I could barely feel my fingers or toes by the end, but it was so worth it. I love me a good sky and this was particularly magical. While most everyone else was gathered near the edge watching the sun setting (with the Temple to their backs), I positioned myself over by the Temple with the sky behind it. I can see a good sunset any old time. But a good sky behind 2500 year old columns?! I most certainly am not seeing that every day.


The only thing left was the somewhat lengthy ride back to Athens. It was pretty quiet, as a few people may have dozed off. Then wouldn’t ya know I get this stupid tickle in my throat and am moments away from a full on coughing fit. All I can think is these people are probably going to throw me off the bus thinking I am infected 🙈 Luckily I found a cough drop and they had bottles of water, and that combo finally did the trick.

First one on the bus and naturally last one off. I didn’t really have a full lunch, so by this point (after 8pm) I was pondering where I could get something. There is a Bread Factory cafe right next to the hotel and I figured I’d check there. Well wouldn’t ya know, Teddy mentioned to us last 3 that the Bread Factory is a great place and he particularly recommended the Pastitsio. It’s kinda a Greek version of lasagna, but he pointed out its better. I popped in there, nabbed me a piece, and was not disappointed. It had different spices and seasonings, and long tube pasta noodles under all the cheese, but yes, similar to lasagna. And very very tasty. I’m not sure how great it was to have a belly full of cheese at 9pm, but oh well. All part of a full day travel adventure.

Posted by JackiesJourneys 20:48 Archived in Greece Tagged greece temple of athens cape poseidon sounion

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.