Sounion, Thorikos, Summary of Weeks Gone By

Trip Start Jan 16, 2010
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Trip End Aug 30, 2010


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Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Saturday, February 6, 2010

Alright.

I just got back from one of the greatest trips of my life, and it was packed into a ridiculously small amount of time. I woke up at 8:15 this morning, and we boarded the buses at 9 to head our separate directions. Luckily, I was in the single group that was headed away from Marathon. While seeing such a memorable battlefield would have been absolutely wonderful, I decided I would have much rather seen the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion and some location known as Brauron. I had no idea what or where "Brauron" was, but it was packed nicely with Sunion, so I was stoked. When we first got on the bus, we found that Brauron had flooded with all the recent rain, so we would be headed to Thorikos instead. "Awesome", I thought. "We're replacing one unknown location with another. Bam!" (Note: I always add "Bam!" after each and every though. Bam!) When we arrived at Thorikos, however, I immediately decided it was my favorite place on the planet. Our bus drove into this basically-evacuated area, across a filed from a rather large city (which I would later find to be Laurion, an absolutely gorgeous city dominated by French influence, due to all of the mining the Frenchies did earlier in the millennium), and I saw a sign that said (in Greek, naturally), "Tavern of the Theatre". I was like, "Wait, what's all this 'Theatre' nonsense? Bam!" Then I saw an official sign pointing to the ancient theatre of Thorikos. I got super stoked.

And ancient is an understatement. The theatre at Thorikos is straight-up the oldest stone theatre in Greece. It was the subject of a mild restoration in the 90's, but only about a quarter of the theatre looks as it did in antiquity. What we saw, then, was an overgrown pile of rocks, roughly. But it was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. Thorikos is an amalgamation of the previous rectangular wooden theatres that were lost in histroy, and the circular stone theatres that remain extant. There has been much debate as to what purpose the theatre served at the beginning of the 5th century BC, and most archaeologists believe it was purely a political gathering center, because there is no remaining Temple of Dionysus nearby. I took interest in this debate and look into defending Thorikos when I've learned more about it. I basically decided today that I want to focus on this remarkable location in my Master's thesis. Thorikos today is a theatre lost in time, utterly forgotten about. Laurion and Thorikon are areas devoted solely to mining, and this theatre and the mine and Mycenaean tholos tomb that sits atop the hill behind it are all but forgotten. I can't help but wonder why, however! Thorikos is a beautiful area to watch a show, and would have been even more gorgeous before the bay it sat upon filled in with river deposits. Plus, the entire complex is wonderfully historical, yet it remains almost entirely untouched. If no one beats me to it, I will personally fund a dig to discover everything that occurred at that beautiful, intriguing place. Thorikos is the beginning of the beginning of theatre, and it absolutely fascinates me... I want to go back. I need to go back.

We then hopped on the bus again through some of the most gorgeous countryside I've ever seen. Eventually we reached the southernmost point of the Attic peninsula, Sounion. I saw the Temple of Poseidon from a distance and was immediately impressed. The foreboding temple dominates the top of the cliff it sits upon, and it serves as a powerful reminder of where you are. It let all travelers know that they were now in the Saronic Gulf, and that this gulf belonged to Athens. We learned a bit about the temple, and we finally walked up next to it. It was absolutely breath-taking (literally and figuratively). The wind blew at such a speed that you had to turn your head to breathe, and we even practiced leaning into the wind. It was beautiful. I'll let the pictures do the remainder of the talking. The images say everything you need to hear.

Other than the fact that Lord Byron straight up carved his name into one of the columns. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good picture of it, because we weren't allowed to walk up into the temple. I got to see his signature through a set of binoculars, though! It was pretty stellar.

After that, our bus drove down to the beach and we ate our lunches. After we had finished, we began playing around on the rocks and in the tide. I got a bit wet misjudging waves, but it was well worth it. The water was so warm! It's nothing like Superior, which hovers around 34 degrees even in the middle of summer. I was tempted to jump right in... Heh. I'll definitely be heading back to go swimming when the weather is warmer. We jumped from rock to rock and had a wonderful time. We even found a baller little cave. After getting wet and having a great time, we all headed back to Athens, much to our dismay. Tavernas were everywhere on the coast, and I look forward to eating at one sometime soon.

Everything about the trip was blissful. Thorikos stimulated every part of my being, and I'm unimaginably intrigued to learn more about it, being the ancient Greek drama nerd that I am. Laurion was a beautiful town, thanks to the French who beautified the heck out of it. Sounion was windy, watery, and wholly impressive. And the coast in general, with its winding roads and little coastal towns, was pure perfection. I'm sad to have come back, but oh-so happy to have gone.

I recommend a drive around the Attic peninsula at least once in everyone's lives... I'll be heading back again and again if I have my way!

Well... That was my day today... And you may be wondering what else I've been up to for the last two weeks.

A lot.

I've been everywhere from Piraeus to the island of Aegina to many other locations in Athens. Oh, and Tim came.

I've been having an amazing time, and I'd love to tell you all about it. If you so desire, please leave a comment or whatnot, saying you'd like a bit of expounding on the pictures I've posted. I would do it now, as the title of this entry so states, but I'm far too sleepy... I want to go take a nap before my evening. I'm sure tons of people will want to hang out... And I should probably oblige...

Thanks for reading everyone! Enjoy the multitude of heavenly hosts (pictures) that I've provided!

-Shadow "I Effing Love Thorikos" Zimmerman

P. Effing S. I love Thorikos.
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Comments

mom on

im so proud of you. the way you wright about things makes me feel like im there. what a wonderful place. Sounds like heaven. love the pics. , you can make me smile just by seeing a picture of you in some weird pose, ha ha. Andi and I are going to the movie today before i have to go to work. Its been very busy this last couple of days. tooo bad the people didnt come in before now and maybe we could have stayed open.. Oh well at least well go out with a bang. Go for a nother interview on mom at applebees so this should be the final one and could start next weekend, so hopeful and ready to make new friends and some money!!!!!! Things are still pretty much the same day to day here, no exciting trips to take everyother day, what a life im so proud of you and you make it very hard not to come over and visit. If i win the lottery I'll be there, Well Andi want to show me some pics of ther trip to the citys and by the way she says hi and she loves and misses you. Saw that i missed you only by a hour on skype so that made a little sad but you need your sleep before your big night out! All my love miss you mom

aella
aella on

Can you tell me the distance between Brauron and Thoricus? It's impossible to tell from maps.

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