May 2016 archive

Skiathos and Skopelos

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Hotel in Skiathos: Skiathos Palace
Hotel in Skopelos: Skopelos Village Hotel 

You can’t imagine how happy I was for going back to Greek islands. I still remember being so excited while waiting for the departure at Vienna International airport. Together with a group of journalists, we flew directly to Skiathos island for a press trip organized by the Greek national tourism Organization. The plan was visiting and discovering Alonissos, Skiathos and Skopelos which automatically means: amazing landscape, warm hearted people, and good food. Yay!

I have never been on the Greek islands in May. When I was living in Greece, I used to visit the islands mostly in July and in August, but after spending a couple of cold months in the Central Europe, my desire for sea and sun together with my wanderlust was urgently calling for a cure and absolutely could not wait until June or July. I also realized that, not only June and July, but May as well, is a perfect month to visit and have holidays in Greece (pleasant temperatures and not that much crowd in places).

Once we arrived at Skiathos, we took the boat to Skopelos, that famous island where the musical Mamma mia was filmed. The three islands are connected by boat. So if you visit them, fly to Skiathos and take the boat. The boat trip from Skiathos to Skopelos lasted about an hour. In Skopelos, the people of the island who would later give us a tour in the following days welcomed us warmly with local delicacies. In the days that followed, I soaked all in: the good company of my new friends, blue of the sea, green of the nature, amazing view from my hotel room at Skiathos Palace and of course my favourite fried potatoes, a lot of kalamarakia and the famous Skopelos cheese pie, known as Skopelitiki Tyropita.

In Skopelos, I did something for the first time in my life: scuba diving (say yes to new experiences)! Visit Kostas & Ines at Skopelos Dive Center. Kostas explained to me everything about my first dive in the sea in order to enjoy the trip under the water the most and stay safe at the same time. What an amazing experience that I definitely recommend to others.

In this blog post you can see photos from my visit in Skiathos and Skopelos. My Austrian friends continued their travel to Alonissos but I didn’t. I had to go back to Skiathos and take the airplane to my next destination. The adventure would go on in Mykonos! ♥

Mykonos, the picture perfect island

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Upon my arrival in Mykonos, everybody was asking me the same question: “first time here”?
No, it wasn’t the first time visiting Mykonos, the picture perfect island. The first one was many, many years ago. My first visit, I recall, was based on a lie. I lied to my work and said that I was ill and left with a friend for a weekend in Mykonos, the picture perfect island.

This time, my friend Edisa and I got a little bit crazy during our stay in Mykonos because of all the beauty around us. We loved roaming around and let our instinct drive us through the alleys of the little town. If you visit Mykonos, pay attention to the details around you. You will notice that residents of Mykonos take care of their island. They really have a good taste about everything, they keep their island polished and this is a considerable reason to love them, right? With my camera, I tried to catch all that beauty, architecture and details as well.

In one of those photos you will see Petros, the pink pelican. Petros is the cutest bird I have ever seen. I had a quick conversation with the woman who takes care of him. She told me that there were three pelicans on the island. Now there is only one left. She set Petros free every morning and before the sunset, she is looking for him to bring him back home. If she doesn’t find her, she can’t sleep. Having and taking care of an animal is a big responsibility and this adorable animal left me to touch him and caress him. The woman pointed out that Petros doesn’t let anyone caress him. I guess this was a good sign that Petros and I became friends. What a pity I couldn’t pack him and take him with me to Vienna. : ) We also saw many dogs and cats on the streets of Mykonos. It seems that they were all taking naps and I am sure they were also annoyed by tourists like me who wanted to take photos of them.

Mykonos has the reputation worldwide of being a party island but for me and the way I conceived it, this island is something more than that. No doubt that here you can party until dawn, but this island has something special that you cannot describe with words. We had the chance to feel that “special” thing in the air, also thanks to the unbeatable hospitality at our boutique hotel Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge. Four days on this island resulted in more than 4.000 photos. That’s the reason that makes me call Mykonos the picture perfect island. The worst thing you can do is visiting this island without your camera, or forgetting your battery/memory card at home.

And as we are talking about the cosmopolitan flair of Mykonos, there is a lot happening in Athens as well. After Mykonos I came back to Athens to visit my parents. I would like to mention an event held by my friend Chrysanthos Panas. The Italian fashion desiger, Valentino, together with Giancarlo Giammetti and their good friend and jet setter Micaela Calabresi Marconi, visited Athens on Friday, March the 25th. They decided to visit Athens, for a three day city break so that they could see the beautiful city during the springtime – until now they have only travelled in Greece on summers. My friend, Chrysanthos Panas, owner of Panas Sophisticated Hospitality, Greece’s leading company of entertainment facilities and hospitality welcomed them and showed them the most important attractions of Athens. Among them, the renovated and historic restaurant Zonars in the centre of Athens, which now exhibits authentic paintings of Picasso, Matisse and Giacometti. Valentino and his company dined in Zonars on their first night in Athens and were thrilled with its amazing atmosphere. Giancarlo Giammetti signed his book “Private” and Valentino signed his book “At the Emperor’s Table”. On the second night they chose Athens exclusive members’ club Salon de Bricolage. Valentino loved the Salon de Bricolage crowd, which he said was full of “stylish and quality people”. Photos of the event here.

Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge

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It was Edisa’s birthday and she wanted to do something special. I told her that I would be in Greece for a press trip organized by the Greek National Tourism Organization but I could extend my stay in my homeland if she wanted to come and find me in Greece. I suggested that we could go to Mykonos. And this is how our little adventure started…

I flew from Skiathos to Athens and from Athens to Mykonos. I hate morning flights that forces my bell to ring at 05.00 am but on the other side, who cares if you are about to spend a couple of days at Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge in Mykonos with the company of a good friend? Once I arrived, a member of the staff picked me up from the airport with a white Jeep with beige leather interior and offered me a hot towel to clean my hands. I still remember some details of the service, small gestures like this, provided by the hotel that made our stay at Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge special, unique and above all unforgettable.

When I stepped in, I was offered a welcome drink and another member of the staff came to me with a map explaining some things about the island. Once I entered Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge, the first glance at the breathtaking view over swimming pool, beach, and all this romantic oasis that surrounded me had me thinking…. Why I haven’t discovered that place earlier? It was time for me to breathe easily and unwind. Edisa came on another flight a few hours later.

In the days that followed, we did all kind of things that belong to what someone would call as dreamy holidays. We relaxed in a 5 star Mykonian suite, savored amazing Greek food, took many photos, did funny things, made new friends, talked to strangers, and discovered hidden paths in the city of Mykonos. But most of all we were pampered from the hotel and felt like two small princesses. What I really really loved from our stay at Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge was that the staff surprised us pleasantly every now and then by being very generous and friendly to all the guests, the privacy of our suite, the dinner from the restaurant’s Chef, Athinagoras Kostakos (could he cook like this for me everyday…?), and the music from the bar…!!!!! It felt like everything was unfolding very naturally and effortlessly. We didn’t have to worry about anything, we were in good hands.

But then comes that day when you have to leave a place you don’t want to leave. Hmm… Hopefully we will get back soon to discover their beach club “Bill & Coo Coast Suites” that Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge launched to celebrate their 10 years anniversary.

Obviously we fell in love with Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge. Who wouldn’t? ♥

Vienna in April

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vienna in april (13)With all those flowers and trees blooming around me it was impossible not to take some pictures of Vienna in April. I was thinking all the time that spring in Vienna with all those cherry blossom trees and all kinds of flowers is actually a very good reason for foreigners to visit the city. But if you come to Vienna in April for the flowers, which by the way also smell damn good, you have to know where to find them. Since I have lived here for many years now, it wasn’t difficult for me to spot them.

The photos above were taken at Burggarten, Volksgarten and Stadtpark and they are to my eyes more like paintings than photos. It is like someone has drawn them. Similar photos (or paintings) from last year’s spring you can find here.

Once, I recall, they called me pastries photographer, now they will probably call me flower photographer, but in the reality what I really love taking photos of is this. Now I am leaving you for a couple of days. I am invited to paradise, also known as Greece, for a press trip. Bye bye dear Vienna. Auf wiedersehen.♥

I love shoes

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Photography: Tony Gigov • Location: Humanic stores

If you ever have had the chance to enter my room, you would realize two things about me: the first thing would be that I get to live in a space that is packed with shoe boxes (shoe boxes around me and everywhere) and the second thing is that I love shoes. And this blog post was inspired by exactly that love: for shoes!

At the Humanic store in Vienna the other day, I found myself in a difficult yet funny position surrounded by beautifully designed espadrilles, chic high heels and a huge variety of summer sandals. I said difficult because I couldn’t make up my mind (so many good options) and funny because with my friend Tony we always end up having so much fun together. I am usually not photographed when I go shopping but this time Tony found some time to take pictures of me while in a dilemma: the golden sandals or the pink wedge sandals!? Did anybody say that it’s easy to choose one pair of shoes among many beautiful pairs of shoes? When in dilemma, go for shopping with a good friend and ask for advice.

On the photos above, you can see some of my favorite shoes…♥