It took over 20 hours to travel from Los Angeles to Thessaloniki, Greece and by the time we got to the Metropolitan Hotel it was close to midnight. We wandered through the streets trying to familiarize with the city (and walk off the jet-lag) but it wasn't til the next morning when it's vivid beauty could truly be seen and enjoyed. My new Wildfox dress was perfect for lounging on the windowsill of our 8th floor room and having a leisurely Greek breakfast.
I wore this beautiful Free People skirt with some amazing sandals from Loehmann's to walk around the city, explore the seaside, and take in the ancient churches. The harbor became one of my favorite places to hang out as they had wonderfully scenic cafes that were relaxing during the day and alive at night.
Thessaloniki is full of surprises. One moment you are bustling through an urban metropolis, the next you are in an open square with ancient ruins. It's easy to forget just how old this city is (it's mentioned in the bible if that gives you any clue) and get caught up in a whirlwind of buses, taxis, and motorcycles everywhere, until you accidentally happen upon an old building or crumbling ruins from thousands of years ago.
Billabong peasant dress and an old necklace from Morocco worn on the roof of our hotel which we definitely were not aloud to be on. Nobody noticed.
The goal on this day was to find a spot to swim but we took the wrong bus which led us here, to an old boatyard! It was lovely to feel the salty breeze during one of the hottest days of our trip. I took almost 8 rolls of film while in Greece this summer which I'll be sure to post. I love the way film captures a moment in such a way that digital never can; maybe it's the light, maybe it's the quality, maybe it's the memory of taking it that makes it so special.
I packed so much blue and white for the trip! Jason likes to joke that I was dressing up in the Greek flag- I guess I was just inspired. I'm wearing a very old Forever 21 skirt with an American Apparel top and ASOS shoes - which are extremely comfortable by the way.
The White Tower, one of Thessaloniki's most famous landmarks, has a gruesome past. It replaced an old Byzantine fortification that became a notorious prison during the Ottoman rule. It was substantially remodeled and its exterior was whitewashed by a prisoner eager to regain his freedom after Greece took control of the city in 1912. Now it has been turned into a museum with a wonderful view of the surrounding area.
I couldn't get enough of that beautiful Mediterranean sunshine! Possibly too much as I got a terrible heat rash which thankfully doesn't show up very well in pictures. It only lasted 2 days though so that was nice. This American Apparel dress was perfectly comfortable and looked great with my new flower crown and not so new shoes.
One of Jason's great aunts has a fabulous apartment with a terrace looking down to Thessaloniki's biggest cathedral and peeking through to the ocean. She let us watch the sunset from her view and later took us for dessert down the street. All of the people we met in Greece treated us with delicious home-cooked meals, drinks by the sea, extravagant dessert, or enormous restaurant feasts. It is the Greek way of entertaining guests.
The Metropolitan Hotel was so kind during our stay. We came in and out of the city many times during the 3 weeks in Greece so it became a home-base to look forward to. I'm wearing another American Apparel dress and Urban Outfitters flower crown which always makes me feel so pretty. On this morning we took a train ride to the verdant village of Edessa... but more on that another time.
Exploring the back-streets of the city in my current favorite skirt by Wildfox and Pins & Needles crop top. The mainland of Greece is full of graffiti. It is almost sad because so many of the old buildings and ruins have been marred by spray paint but at the same time it can be quite beautiful and has added another fascinating layer to their cultural roots.
We stopped for dinner at a place that's been around for over 20 years and I had the best okra of my life with fresh greek salad, fish, and the greek version of a casserole. We later got drinks on the pier with some lovely people and a view of the skyline. I had a very strange and sweet but delicious cocktail made with mastic liqueur, litchi liqueur, rose syrup, lemon juice, and fresh rosemary. I would very much like to try making this on my own sometime.
Wearing my Prabal Gurung for Target dress, Aldo heels and 'Lady Danger' MAC lipstick. This dress doesn't need much for accessaries but when paired with a tight bun and some red lips and heels it was perfect for a night out.
Thessaloniki has so many local boutiques, craft stores, and open markets it was easy to get lost. That is precisely what happened on this particular day and it turned out to be so much fun! I found lots of inspiration and made sure to bring back a few items to use in my jewelry line.
Eventually we did find the way to our destination which was up a hill to the old city wall and monastery. It took 3 buses, a half hour of walking, and many wrong turns to finally get there but the journey is half the fun, right?! On that day I wore vintage Ralph Lauren pants which just seem like the perfect thing to wear on a European summer vacation - especially with this Jason Wu for Target top and my favorite clutch.
I turned the camera on Jason because his outfit was just too cool not to be photographed! I think he's wearing all H&M here but I'm not certain. The old monastery was so beautiful!! It is amazing how much detail goes into the simplest things. This door was not even the main entrance but looked so ornate, especially against those marble pillars. They keep a huge cage of peacocks as decoration and amusement on the hill. I think the peacocks were showing off for us.
Parts 2 and 3 will be coming shortly!! In the meantime be sure to check out my video diary of Thessaloniki!