Travel Diary: Greece
Last spring, our team of 3 models, 1 stylist, 1 makeup artist, 1 photographer and 1 assistant spent 8 days together on the island of Santorini shooting this season’s campaign. It was an unforgettable trip and we thought that it would be nice to share our travel journal with you.
Day 1: We arrived yesterday evening on a noisy little plane that sat thirty passengers at most. The trip was a bit bumpy but with only 45 minutes of flight time and small bottle of Agiorgitiko for company (let’s all take a moment to thank the top notch airlines that still serve complimentary beverages), it went by like an episode of Sex And The City on a Sunday night. The airport was surprisingly small, and our rental car transaction involved fishing a rusted Peugeot key out from under the floor mat on the driver’s side of a car parked in the airport lot. And no, the doors weren’t locked.
The drive to Oia was uneventful if you omit the donkeys crossing the road covered in total darkness, and once we got there, a group of wiry Eastern European porters who could bench triple their body weight without breaking a sweat carried our luggage through the winding stone roads to the house. We had some cheese and olives, and turned in early knowing that we had a busy week of work ahead of us.
This morning we were all woken up by the enthusiastic exultations of the lovely Alexandra, our Greco-Canadian model who was the first to cast eyes on the dramatic scenery we had completely walked by in the darkness last night. To say that the cliffside town of Oia is picture perfect is an understatement, and the sheer beauty of the stunning expanse that surrounded us at the break of dawn can’t really be described in words. Suffice it to say that we were blown away and giddy as schoolgirls. Our burly male photographer, Donat, was no exception.
We ate yogurt and honey overlooking the Aegean Sea at breakfast, and then spent the day getting lost in the narrow cobble stone streets of the town, climbing its uneven steps, and catching one spectacular view of the caldera to the next as we made our way around town.
Day 2: We’re definitely not sick of this place yet and are pretty sure we’ll never be. How can you not love a country that considers fried cheese a food group? And don’t even get us started on the Tzaziki. If it’s the last thing you do on earth, you have to come to Greece so you can feast on this creamy, garlicky, tangy delishiousness. It’s so good that we’re pretty sure it was invented by Zeus himself. The olives are to die for too, and if you’re a fan of seafood, then the fresh fish and octopus charred to perfection on the grill is likely to bring you into a state of ecstacy that’s certainly not appropriate for younger audiences. The food in Greece is perfection.
Day 3: The shoot is going swimmingly and we’re quite productive when we’re not stuffing our faces with Greek delicacies. It’s our last full day in the town of Oia so we’re really making sure to take advantage of every nook, cranny and view before we head out to the center of the island tomorrow. The weather has been perfect so far, and we’ve been getting a lot done especially in the early mornings before all of the tourists arrive from cruise ships and tour buses. Did we mention that the main mode of transportation in Oia (besides walking) is the donkey? The locals decorate them in traditional outfits with colorful pom poms. So besides being incredibly useful, they have fantastic fashion sense. We still haven’t seen any goats though. Really hoping that will happen before we leave.
Day 4: We saw a goat! In fact, we saw many goats! We took a detour and went to check out the red beach on our way to the new house in Pyrgos. There they were, about twelve stubborn little bearded guys with fluffy hooves. We stopped to pet them but unfortunately they didn’t speak English so they moslty ignored us. After that, we were so happy that we all took a dip in the Aegean Sea. It was like heaven swimming around in the cool turquoise water with the dramatic red cliffs standing right there in front of us like it was no big deal. What a place this little island is. This is paradise.
Day 5: This villa is almost more beautiful at sunrise than it is at sunset. From the top terrace you can see the giant ball of red fire creep up above the horizon, shedding light on everything around. We’ve decided that we’re going to spend the whole day shooting here because the villa is just so pretty that’s there’s no reason to leave. We’ll probably have a solid work sesh in the morning and afternoon, and a little break at noon when the sun is at it’s peak and it’s too hot to function. A couple of us might take the mid-day break to stroll over to the little boutique down the street that sells glass evil eyes and painted bowls and other artisanal goods. We even spotted some pom pom sandals in the window and are seriously tempted. Shoes, shoes…shoes!
Day 6: Pyrgos is charming but it’s small and we figured it was time for a little change of scenery so we took a trip down to the black sand beach at the southern tip of the island today. We found a local spot on Perissa beach that had comfy lounge chair and local cocktails and set up shop there for the afternoon. Between styling looks, we sipped on the ice cold local brew and snacked on crispy fried calamari. Our waiter, Spiros, was as charming as he was Greek and he was kind enough to teach us a few sentences to help us get by in the local tongue, We couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon. Good times were had by all.
Day 7: It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here for a week already! The days are flying by. Everyone is especially excited right now because we’re about to head out to the marina so we can take a boat ride around the island. A friend of Joan’s has a catamaran and they’ve invited us for an afternoon of sun and an evening of festivities. We can all hardly contain ourselves. It’s important at this moment of excitement not to forget the most critical Greek seafaring items: sunnies, favorite swimsuit, giant hat, and fully-charged phone ready for a selfie bonanza that would rival a 14 year old girl’s backstage encounter with Taylor Swift.
Day 8: It’s 5:00 pm on our last day in Greece and even our most stoic crew members are looking a little melancholly. I don’t think we’re quite ready to go home. It feels like just yesterday that we had our first taste of tzatziki and sip of Assyrtiko. But such is life so we’re going to make the best of it by cooking a Greek-style meal all together and having a dance party. Last night on the boat was unforgettable. We cruised around the whole western side of the island and got to see the caldera from just above the turquoise water (which looks even brighter from down there next to the white limestone rocks that jey out here and there). The Aegean is breathtaking and Santorini is just unbelievable. Eight days in paradise goes by quickly. But we’ll be back. That’s for sure.
Until the next photoshoot adventures!
The Skye Team