The last time I went to my most favorite beach in all of Attiki, the hidden little, clean, natural spot in Legrena, I was shocked. Shocked, enraged, angry, words that are not as intense as the feelings that I had when I saw the huge, illegal brick wall lining the entire 10 stremeta of land bordering the beach that had been so beautiful. Now, a wall was preventing anyone from easily approaching the long stretch of pristine beach. The land was being plowed-up and the natural landscape that had been covered with an array of beautiful wild flowers, was being destroyed. Bulldozers were scraping into the soil and fresh cement was covering the surface with it's cold grey hardness.
Even the top of the crevice above the beach was being plowed down to create an artificial access to this once secluded and protected beach.
People of the area had made a petition, called the TV news stations, the police, the Members of Parliment, but to no avail! Why? It seems the owner of this new development is the same man, "Lazaridis' who owns the oldest and most expensive hotel in Athens, 'The Grand Bretagne,' and his money is more powerful the the cries of a few people who still care about saving the natural beauty that once drew so many tourists to Greece...Those days of what made Greece so special are fast fading in the memories of the last generation to have enjoyed the wonders of a clean and pure environment.
Please watch my video to see what is happening: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/vv/afb/
I will translate the words to this beautiful song by Pix Lax and George Delaras in my next tip.
Our minibus has made several stops that we could enjoy and take photos and videos of the area of Varkiza Bay and Gourkolimano Bay.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Varkiza on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 48' 46.21" N 23º 48' 4.56" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Varkiza Bay.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Gourkolimano Bay on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 41' 6.89" N 23º 56' 14.97" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Gourkolimano Bay.
You may watch my 2 min 33 sec VIDEO-Clip Athens-Sounio Part II out of my VT-Tube or Athens-Sounio Part II out of my YouTube with popular Greek music.
Lake Vouliagmeni (Sunken Lake) is a small fresh-water lake fed by underground currents seeping through the mass of Mount Hymettus. It was once a large cavern that collapsed following an earthquake, probably during the early Middle Ages. The outline of the collapsed cavern roof can be clearly discerned from a distance.
The lake stands at a 40 cm elevation, and its water maintains a constant 24 degrees Celsius temperature year round. It continues deep inside the mountain in an underwater cave never fully explored, as its end seems impossible to trace even by employing sonar detection.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Vouliagmeni Lake on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 48' 26.77" N 23º 47' 6.98" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Vouliagmeni Lake.
The road passes the postcard-perfect beaches of the Saronic Gulf -Glyfada beach, Vouliagmeni beach, Varkiza - as well as countless caves.
Out minibus made a several stops that we could enjoy and take photos and videos of the area.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Vouliagmeni on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 48' 28.51" N 23º 46' 58.17" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Vouliagmeni bay.
As we drove along the scenic highway 91, we came across many little chapels, a few of which I will show here. I did not get the names of two of them, but the third is the Church of Ayios Dimitrios Saronikos.
This really is a stunningly beautiful part of the Greek coast and every off road diversion brings about its own new views such as these:
In most instances these side roads will be easily accessible in a normal car though some short walks are neeeded to fully explore so wear decent shoes!
Following from the above tip - this little derilict shanty town of maybe a dozen dwellings even has its own little church at the top and a little harbour at the bottom. This was the sort of place which I would have loved to find as a child, though having said that it did bring out the "big kid" in me as I wandered around, peeking through opened doors, wiping the dust from the windows of those buildings which were locked: my imagination peopling the place and making it come to life.
As you drive down to Sounio it is well worth spending a little time exploring the off the main road turnings towards the coast which can reveal all sorts of hidden little scenic gems very few of which are signposted.
One such turn-off led to a tiny shanty town of derilict buildings, with tremendous views over the bay, which Janet informs me are in fact illegal holiday homes to which city people return yearly, usually during August when the city becomes unbearably hot. Although these huts are run-down it seems that every year they get tarted up a little and even get connected up to fresh water and mains electricity (the latter being as illegal as the buildings themselves!).
It was at the bay below these houses, with its little harbour, that I took both the crab photo and the shaving brush on my intro page.
Just before the temple of Posidonos at Cape Sunion, there can be found, small rocky bays that were used by pirates to hide from would be captors. I have heard that these places of safe harbour, are still used today in attempts to smuggle illegal aliens, drugs and other contraband items, on Greek shores. On the otherhand, I have never seen any such evidence myself...so, for me, I will continue to sneek away to these hidden spots to enjoy my wonderful secluded swims on hot Sunday summer days...away from the crowds and noise of the public beaches...but, sorry, don't ask me to tell you where my secret swimming spot is...Unless you come to Greece, you invite me to join you for a lovely fish meal at the taverna in Sunion, some ouzo...some more ouzo...after which, I'm sure I could be convinced into showing you this spot! (blindfolded on the way:):)
Vter AthinaX10, known by her real name, 'Carmelleta' visted Athens and did just that! We enjoyed a lovely lunch together and then we took photos at my favourite swimming spot!
Well, I saw the temple only at night from the parkering place. It was wunderful and I would like to do it again. Bring a good friend or so, it is a magnific look. No one will be disappointed.
Just go off the beaten path wich takes you to the Temple, to the left and from here you can take pics of wonderful Sounio sunsets.