Monday, June 27, 2016

250 Steps // A Greece Travel Diary {Part IV}

"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls."

250.

Oia is everything that I imagined it would be. I've dreamed of visiting this place ever since I was in middle school, and wandering its stone-paved streets was like an out-of-body experience. It's one of those places where your eyes and your mind can't process what you're seeing fast enough, and it doesn't feel like you're actually where you know yourself to be. While Mykonos is a place full of joie de vivre, Oia has a certain je ne sais quoi that I can't quite put my finger on. It's like magic and romance float through the air creating a surreal, breathtaking experience. Oia was built on nothing but volcanic ash. Its white-washed buildings sit on the side of blackened cliffs looking out into endless views of cerulean blue. It possesses an unexpected beauty and defies expectations. During our first day we took 250 steps down to Amoudi Bay, but there are an infinite amount of emotions that tie me to this place.

Besos,
RC











Madewell Top || Madewell Bottoms || J.Crew Hat || Le Specs Sunnies || Bag {handmade in Greece}

Photos by Crystal D.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

When in Mykonos // A Greece Travel Diary {Part III}

"Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere."

Forever.

That's how long I will spend remembering this place, feeling the breeze of the Aegean Sea on my face and in my hair, picturing the clear blue waters in a shade of turquoise that does not compare as we sailed between the islands on our journey to Rhenia, and chasing sunsets that I'll forever savor -- sitting on our little rock, with the Mykonos windmills to our left and the vast, expanse of the ocean to our right, extending out into infinity, with James Bay playing in the background, watching the sun dip below the horizon...

Besos,
RC

Day 1: Exploring Mykonos Town & Little Venice
Mykonos Town is a place you can literally get lost in and not mind one bit. Each corner you turn is another breathtaking surprise of charm. It's white washed walls with the most beautiful accent colors and bougainvilleas cascading down everywhere. My tip? Get lost. I truly think that is the beauty of Mykonos Town, and you'll discover alleyways and unforgettable views that you wouldn't have found otherwise. Spend an entire afternoon wandering the cobblestone streets and really take your time to enjoy it. I'm sure when I say, there's no place else on this Earth like it. 






The Old Port

Paraportiani Church 


Mykonos Windmills

Little Venice

Mykonos at dusk 
During our first day, we missed the sunset because we got a flat tire on our rental car. One thing I have to say...the people of Mykonos are some of the friendliest Greeks we met during our trip. They apologized to us for making us miss the sunset even though they had to drive to us to fix our tire, completely free of charge.

Day 2: Yacht Cruise to Rhenia Island
This photo was actually not taken from our boat cruise, but all the photos I have from that day were taken on my iPhone. However, I highly recommend this day trip! We booked with Sunfos Alessia Yachting and thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. It's a semi-private yacht, so we were on the excursion with six others {10 guests total}. You can definitely get your fair share of sun, water, and beach at the beaches on Mykonos, but Rhenia is completely uninhabited and the water there is calmer, bluer, and clearer than the waters by Mykonos. If I had to go back, I would do it again 110%.

Day 3: Super Paradise and one last sunset
We spent our last day at Super Paradise beach. We asked around with the locals we met in both Mykonos and Athens, and this was by far the most popular suggestion. The resounding answer was -- Super Paradise is beautiful, and it's not a trip to Mykonos without a trip to Super Paradise. Also note, the sunset beach parties start at 4pm ;)


We made our way back to Mykonos Town for one last sunset on our perfect little rock that we discovered on our first day wandering the town. Breathtaking and beautiful barely scrape the surface of how deeply this moment and this sight have been engraved in my heart and in my mind...forever.

"Everything that's broke, leave it to the breeze;
Let the ashes fall, forget about me.
Come on let it go, just let it be;
Why don't you be you,
and I'll be me." 




Monday, June 20, 2016

Mykonos Charm // A Greece Travel Diary {Part II}

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” 

Changed.

I left a piece of my heart in Mykonos. They say that traveling changes a person, and I truly do believe that. You learn things about yourself that you wouldn't learn if you stayed in the same place forever and never opened your eyes up to other places and new experiences. I was surprised by Mykonos and how deeply I connected with this place. Though Mykonos was on my bucket list, Santorini was always the original dream. But that's the beauty of traveling -- places surprise you and you surprise yourself. Mykonos is a place that I could get lost in and live in and never grow tired of. It's the kind of place that speaks to everything that I'm looking for in life right now. Full Mykonos travel diary coming your way on Thursday!

Besos,
RC










Madewell Dress || J.Crew Sandals - this year's here || Handmade Bag from Greece || Sunnies via Amazon

Special thanks to Crystal D. for capturing these outfit photos.

Monday, June 13, 2016

This is Athens // A Greece Travel Diary {Part I}

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” 

Kalimera! {Goodmorning, in Greek}. I'm finally back from my travels in Greece, and I took a few days off just to readjust and get back into my routine at home and work. Greece was a whirlwind of adventure -- it's been on my travel bucket list for years {since middle school} and it was truly a dream to be able to travel there! I'm kicking it off with an Athens round-up, going in consecutive order from the different cities/islands we hit. So read on for more about what we did, what we saw, where we stayed, and a few other tidbits about traveling to Athens.

Day 1//Where we stayed: I traveled to Greece with three of my girl friends, and we had originally booked a place that was closer to the heart of Athens. However, after hearing some not-so-positive things about the current state of Athens, we decided to cancel our reservation and book a place outside of the city. We ended up staying in Paleo Faliro, a beautiful, suburban neighborhood outside of the city and we couldn't have been happier with our choice. We chose to do an AirBnB stay and I highly recommend looking for a place in this area. It was around a 6-7 euro cab ride to all the touristy attractions in the heart of Athens, which we felt was well worth it since we felt very safe staying in Paleo Faliro and had no problems walking around at night {we would never venture out in the dark in the city area of Athens though}. Paleo Faliro is closer to the water, and the AirBnB we stayed at was a quick 5 minute walk to the marina as well as the main street area of the town.

Sunset view from our dinner at Vive Mar

Day 2: Kalimarmaro, Temple of Zeus, Hadrian's Arch, and the Acropolis
 We dedicated the entire day to seeing all of the historical sites and ruins. My favorite was probably the spot pictured above: the original Olympic stadium {Kalimarmaro}. One thing I'll never be able to get over about all of these sites? Everything was made out of marble, and some of the marble detailing is so intricate it left me awestruck.

Temple of Zeus


View of the Acropolis from the Temple of Zeus
Hadrian's Arch

Theatre of Dionysus

The Acropolis

Propylea



Acropolis


Day 3: Monastiraki and Plaka
We spent our last day in Athens doing a little shopping -- we wandered around the Monastiraki Flea market, paid the Poet Sandal Maker a visit, and got lost in beautiful Plaka which is probably my favorite area of Athens. I'll be honest and tell you that Monastiraki Flea Market is not the nicest area and most of the shops sell the same thing. However, I did find a really beautiful leather bag that was handmade in Greece for 30 euros {I bargained it down to two for 50 euros}. If you get the chance, visit Melissinos Art and get yourself a pair of customized Greek sandals. But above all, visit Plaka. It's quaint and charming and you almost forget that you're still in Athens.  








Mount Lycabettus
We returned to Athens on the very last day of our trip since the main airport in Greece for international flights is located in Athens. We also stayed the night in an AirBnB, but this time it was located in the heart of Athens. Comparing our two stays and the two locations, I would recommend Paleo Faliro one hundred times over. The accommodations were much nicer, the space was much larger, and the overall area felt much safer. I would also recommend having a phone that allows international phone calls and data usage. Our life-saving app was Taxibeat, aka the Athens version of Uber. If you can avoid hailing a taxi like you would normally do in NYC, I would because more often than not they will rip you off. 

Overall, I would recommend visiting Athens but for no more than two days. I'd give yourself a day to see the sites and visit the museums, and another day to explore and shop. In terms of safety, it was probably the only place we visited in Greece where I felt on edge and, at times, unsafe. However, it's not as bad as some people make it seem so long as you stay alert and stay smart. Thanks so much for following along...next stop, Mykonos!

Besos,
RC

View from Mount Lycabettus -- if you look closely, you can see Kalimarmaro, the Temple of Zeus, and the Acropolis!