Sunday, August 8, 2010


Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

There is a very good reason for my silence over the last three weeks. The below location swallowed me up, and took me away from city and connected life. Eventually, it delivered a sense of peace. You can travel and be on the move, or travel and be still. In a place as perfect as Patmos you can have it all. 
This is the road from where we stay in Chora down to the beach at Petra.

Meet Manoli the captain of the boat we were lucky enough to invited onto almost every day of our break. Thanks to our dear friend Joan Rolls and her close family friend Nick Contomichalos (who owns the boat) we spent many wonderful days pootling from bay to bay around Patmos.

This is Aspronisi. You can only get to the "white island" when the sea is calm.

Meet Joan Rolls and her jeep "Hercules". Joan is the reason we go to Patmos; she has been holidaying here for 26 years and everyone on the island knows her. When we see her careering down the hill from Chora to Skala in Hercules, we think the people who made Mamma Mia the movie MUST have been inspired by her for the character played by Meryl Streep. 

Saying hi from our picnic on the white island.

This is the shoe shop in Skala. The lady who runs it is at least 80. I love the sign outside. The old timer in the frame is typical of the local seafaring men who are heavy of moustache and have these macho peacockish walks.  

On quite a few mornings I walked down from Chora - thats it in the distance at the top of the hill - to Skala using this wide stony road which must be 900 years old. The road was built in the decades after the monastery of St John the Divine (also known as St John the Theologian) was finished; the monastery is the darker structure dominating the skyline. Chora is the white sugar-cube housing surrounding it, incidentally Chora is a UNESCO world heritage site

The view down to Skala from almost the same point as the previous shot.

All the buildings in Chora have incredible door-knockers.

This is the doorway into the house we rented.

Greek islanders traditionally use distinctive azure blue paint for their woodwork. In Patmos the locals prefer this shade of pale blue which exactly matches the colour of the sky above and around Patmos. 

One day I spotted some workmen using the colour while repainting a door. It enchanted me in a stupidly romantic way that there is a brand of paint aimed at the Greek Islands climate. Of course its obvious that there would be one, but seeing it made me smile.The workmen thought I was crazy wanting a shot of the paint pot...

This is a shot of Skala as you drive around the curve of the bay from Grikos

The beach at Diakofti is the best spot from which to enjoy the sunset.

After a week on Patmos we were rewarded with a full moon (our first one in three visits). It was a magical night

Why Patmos is Perfect
No airport
No tourist chain hotels
No swimming pools, just quiet uncommercialised beaches
Great swimming
The cruise ships only stay for four hours; when you see people viewing the island through a camera,  you know they will be gone soon
Just heard from friends still there that Hamish Bowles and a mega A-list Oscar winning actress and her kids (don't want to compromise her privacy) arrived (not together) this weekend
The rest must stay my secret. I'm under strict orders!

Photos: Fashion Editor at Large