During the month of July I was on holiday in Europe with my family.

The first country we checked out on our Euro-tripping adventure was Greece. We rolled into Athens pretty early in the AM on the first day (July 9th) which was my mum’s birthday. We were all exhausted (and pretty gross) from the ferry from Vancouver Island, the car ride to the airport, the early morning wake up call, the two flights, the lay over from hell, and the taxi to a funky little boutique hotel in the middle of Athens, The New Hotel. We decided that we should all take a shower, nap and recharge our batteries for an hour or two… By the time we woke up it was roughly dinner time. We spent our first evening in Athens exploring the cobblestone streets of Plaka. We checked out the artisan shops, and the touristy trinkets. I think collectively we purchased 30 Evil Eye trinkets, meant to bring good luck to the one possessing the Evil Eye! We had a nice traditional greek dinner and headed back to the hotel for drinks on the rooftop terrace bar. The view of the Acropolis lit up at night and the interior of the bar (lit up so that it looked like hundreds of tiny stars) was breathtaking.

We spent the next day checking out the Acropolis, doing the Hop On/Hop Off bus tour of Athens. I ended up getting really dehydrated that day, on top of the jet-lag so we took it easy for the rest of the day. We had an amazing dinner at this really chic Greek restaurant that was run by a French chef. Every single one of the servers there looked like a Victoria Secret model. They were all so beautiful and perfectly put together, it was a photographers dream. If I had stayed a few more days in Athens I would have had to go back and ask them to model for me.

 

Off to Mykonos! We took a 5 hour ferry ride to the island of Mykonos where we were picked up by the hotel shuttle and whisked away to absolute paradise. I easily could have spent the entire trip at  Petasos Beach Resort & Spa . The staff at Petasos Beach were by far the loveliest people in all of Greece! The beaches were perfect. There were lounge chairs with umbrellas. You could have cocktails brought to you while soaking up some serious Vitamin D. The resort had an amazing pool and restaurant as well. With a view of all the multi million dollar yachts that were anchored in the bay, we could walk down to the private beach and swim past all the ships that sat within arms reach. We would tan poolside and watch the passengers aboard the vessels live out every lifestyles of the rich and famous fantasy anyone could ever dream of!

I explored the resort grounds snapping pictures round every corner, day dreaming about all the amazing editorial images that could be shot in each nook and cranny. Each morning we would mosey down to the breakfast bar, where we piled our plates till they were overflowing. With an ocean view, we sipped delicious greek coffee and inhaled every last bite.  The resort we stayed at was far enough away from the tourist packed village of Mykonos that we were not disturbed at night. The village was full of boutiques and cute restaurants. The most beautiful part of the village was the waterfront where you could watch the sunset. The village was momentarily enveloped by the warm cast of colourful rays before the sun quickly disappeared below the horizon.

Next Santorini! We took a three hour ferry ride on the fast cat to Santorini and stayed at the Angels & Stars, Resort and Spa. It overlooked the Caldera. We went for a walk through the village we were staying in and then had dinner at an awesome Greek restaurant. The next day we rented a convertible Beetle and drove around Santorini. We drove to the highest point in  Santorini and visited Black Beach for lunch. There were so many cats in Santorini even in every restaurant we went to.The Melitini Restaurant in Oia was one of my favourite places to eat. It was a Greek tapas restaurant that had the most amazing baklava. The greek salad was delicious and the rest of the meal was delightful. There was a beautiful rooftop terrace where we ate and watched the sunset. The best part was the bill was not over the top expensive like other places we had visited!

There was a cat that came to our balcony every morning and begged for yoghurt. We called him YOP. The other cat that visited was orange and stripy. She lounged around our balcony like she owned the place, posing for pictures. I ended up naming her Yoga Jones. The next day we had booked a sailing trip along the coast of Santorini. Most of the other passengers were newlyweds. There was one other family and one other unwed couple onboard. We saw Red Beach, went snorkelling at White Beach, and swam in the hot springs of the Caldera. Afterwards we ate an amazing dinner that the crew had prepared and watched the fish feed on our leftovers. We stopped half way on the trip back to watch the sunset. As we were all watching the sun slowly sink towards the ocean, one of the passengers got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend! Everyone was given champagne and we toasted the lovely couple. It was such a surprise to the future bride and such a beautiful proposal.

 

The food in Greece is so packed with flavour. I have never been in love with olives or tomatoes, but after visiting Greece it is all I crave. Most Mediterranean dishes are based on simple ingredients and flavours coming together to make a delicious meal. They don’t over complicate or over season anything. The people are so friendly and excited to have you visit their country. I have never met such a hard working community of people in my life. They work 200 days a year, nine to fourteen hour days, with no days off to visit their families, and they do it with a smile on their face. We could all learn a lot from their drive and dedication.