greece // athens, salamina & leptokarya / by Rachel Iliadis

the salty air and fresh scent of the Mediterranean washing over your body making you feel like there must be more than five senses. the taste of lemon, feta, and olives fresh from the fields. straight from the garden. the loud laughter of family who hasn't been together in four years, trying to catch up and make up time lost. the scenery that makes you feel one step closer to heaven.

here i am. trying my best to put words to what felt like the most meaningful, memorable, and breathtakingly beautiful experience of my life. it certainly would be impossible for me to describe in a few witty, cute paragraphs what these images mean to me. they are my heart. my family. the most precious things to me. the people and places in these photographs are home.

when i met dimitri four years ago, the first thing he told me was that he was from thessaloniki. maybe even before saying hello? his family, culture, and heritage is everything to him, and finally having the opportunity to meet the people and places dearest to his heart was indescribable. don't get me wrong, as magical as the trip was, it was imperfect. traveling with an 11-month-old and attempting to navigate the cultural and language barriers was difficult. but for every hard moment came with it 10 of the most beautiful ones.

during our trip, we visited as much family as possible. we explored the city streets, stayed out late, and slept in. we got to spend time with friends from the past and friends that we've wanted to catch up with for years. we consumed our body weight in feta, souvlaki + frappe, gaining an impressive 13 lbs each by the end of our trip. for three weeks, we traveled from thessaloniki to athens. athens to salamina to santorini. from there, we went back up through athens to leptokarya to thessaloniki, with a few stops in between. it was wild and beautiful and special.

when i look back through the photographs, i notice a lot of gaps and experiences that i wasn't able to capture. frankly, most of the time, it didn’t even feel right to have my camera out. our family needed this time to just live, breathe, and be present. but i am grateful for the times i did pull out the real camera because i know these are memories we will treasure forever.

in order to not have 1,000 images per post, i've decided to break up the trip in a series. so, here are a few moments from our time in athens, leptokarya, mount olympus, and salamina. enjoy, friends.

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and now a few iphone snaps:

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset