Category Archives: Travel

Travel – Barcelona Part II

On our second day in Barcelona, we were off to an early start as our tickets to visit Parc Güell was scheduled for 8.30am. G’s cousin who lives in Barcelona had suggested that we booked our tickets (€7 per adult) in advance and try to visit early to avoid crowds. We took the Metro and got off at Vallcarca, one of the two Metro stops close to Parc Güell. We got a surprise when we saw the hill that we had to climb to get to the park! Granted, there were escalators between each block but it was only for the uphill direction. Well, it was all worth it as there were only few crowds, mostly tour groups and the view as well as the park itself was beautiful. Needless to say, Gaudi‘s handiwork did not fail to impress us. I shall let the pictures do the talking… (WARNING: Picture heavy post!)

Next on our itinerary was a visit to the famous La Sagrada Familia that has been in construction since 1882. Once again, we purchased our tickets in advance (€19.30 per person), which included a visit to one of the two towers (Navity or Passion). If one had to pick only one of Gaudi’s works to visit in Barcelona, this would be my pick. Gaudi’s magnificent work of art La Sagrada Familia is absolutely breathtaking. One can easily spend hours in the building admiring the architecture and his extraordinary vision. I was mesmerized by the beautiful stained glass and can easily spend a few hours staring at the vivid colors. There were also a few exhibitions housed in the building, some of which gave an insight to Gaudi’s architectural influences. G and I particularly enjoyed the 3D exhibition where we could touch the objects demonstrating his architecture ideas. We ended our tour by visiting the Passion tower which had a great view of the city.

After the visit, we headed back to our AirBnB apartment to rest before heading out for dinner in the neighbourhood. Our host had recommended Pizza L’avia as a restaurant with good local food that was inexpensive. Since we’ve been having tapas for our previous meals, I was delighted to find paella at the restaurant and ordered that for dinner. G as usual ordered pizza. (His goal is to eat pizza in every country that he visits!) The paella was bit too greasy for my liking but otherwise, the taste was decent. G however, wasn’t too pleased with his pizza due to the use of local cheese, which he found unappetizing.

After dinner, we headed to Museu Picasso which offers discounted rates on Thursday nights. We only paid €15 for our tickets with included an additional exhibition. Discounted tickets however can only be purchased in person after 7pm but since we were there early, we didn’t have to wait too long to purchase our tickets. Regular admission is otherwise €11 per adult.

As photographs were not allowed in the museum, I have none to show other than the entrance and a pretty snap of the blue skies from the courtyard past 8pm. I have to say between the Van Gogh Museum and the Picasso Museum, I much preferred the former in Amsterdam. I guess I prefer Van Gogh’s style of art to Picasso’s.

If you missed my first post on Barcelona, it’s here and the outfit details for this post is here. We’ll be off to explore the mountains outside Barcelona for the next post!

Travel – Barcelona Part I (La Pedrera)

I was going to try and post this last week but sadly the internet connection at the Kempinski Hotel in Munich wasn’t having any of it! As mentioned in the previous post, Spain has been on the top of my travel list for a long time. We were finally able to make it come true now that we reside in the UK. G was more than happy to oblige when I I told him that I would like to celebrate my birthday in Spain this year. He had previously been to Madrid and Barcelona for a short business trip. Since our birthdays are only nine days apart, we took a vacation to celebrate both. Having seen gorgeous pictures of Menorca, I wanted to celebrate my birthday there and since it’s just off the coast of Barcelona, we figured we should visit there, too.

We arrived in Barcelona in the afternoon and promptly checked in to our AirBnB apartment. Visiting La Pedrera (Casa Milà) was next on our itinerary as it wasn’t too far from the apartment (only 3 Metro stops away). We got off at the Passeig de Gracia stop and walked to La Pedrera as we wanted to take in the sights even though Diagonal stop is the closer (not to mention that we’d have to switch trains). (WARNING: Picture heavy post!)

Obama in Barcelona!

Generali Assegurances

Casa Batlló, among one of Gaudi‘s many works in the city

Finally, we reached La Pedrera, one of Gaudi‘s famous works in the city. (We visited quite a few, as you’ll discover in coming posts!) This was one of Gaudi’s most complete works, a home built for Roser Segimon and Pere Milà. The unconventional design drew plenty of criticism back then. I definitely like the architecture although the lack of a straight wall might drive me nuts!

Models of the La Pedrera

Courtyard of La Pedrera

The warrior-like chimneys, ventilation towers, and stairwells on the roof terrace of La Pedrera

The servants’ quarters inside the apartment

The beautiful arch of the attic

After the visit, we had dinner nearby at Tapas 24 based on the reviews on Foursquare. Food was good although it was a bit salty for my taste. Service was however, lacklustre as we had to stand in line to wait even though there was a table for two that was available in front of us! Unfortunately, I was too hungry to take any food pictures (lighting wasn’t the best either). Till the next Barcelona post! 🙂

Fauxionable Outfit – On Repeat

Today’s outfit is a repeat that was posted here. Although I wore the same outfit, I opted for different accessories that were a little more understated and versatile since I was traveling. I wore this on my second day in Barcelona and the blazer kept me warm in the cooler morning and evenings. Excuse my silly grins as I was just happy that I was finally in Spain after longing to visit for eons (okay, make that 8 years)!

Visit to Harry Potter World Studio Tour Part II

I posted the first part of the Harry Potter World Studio Tour here but then disappeared from blogging for a while, so I’m here to finish the job with the second post!

To continue from the previous post, the area where refreshments are sold also houses a few other sets, one of which is Privet Drive.  (WARNING: Picture heavy post!)

Privet Drive, Harry Potter World Studio Tour, England, WatfordPrivet Drive

While the first studio (Studio J) houses most of the sets used in the movies, the second studio (Studio K) contains mostly of props and models that were used for filming. The amount of detail that went into each prop was amazing. The amount of work that was done for each prop, some of which was only in the movie(s) for seconds is absolutely mind-blowing. As someone with high attention to detail, the blueprint and models in Studio K were gems to me!

Buckbeak, Harry Potter World Studio Tour, England, WatfordThe mechanical Buckbeak

Diagon Alley, Harry Potter World Studio Tour, England, WatfordThe famous Diagon Alley

Weasleys Puking Pastilles, Harry Potter World Studio Tour, Weasley's Puking Pastilles, Harry Potter World Studio Tour

Mechanical (animated gif) and a still of the Weasley’s  Puking Pastilles at Diagon Alley

Blueprints for the mechanical props and models Harry Potter World Studio TourBlueprint for Weasley’s Puking Pastilles and one of the models for the props

Whomping Willow model, Harry Potter World Studio Tour, England, WatfordModel of the Whomping Willow and Hogwarts BridgeHogwarts Model at Harry Potter World Studio, England, WatfordSmaller model of Hogwarts

There is also a larger model of Hogwarts that was used for filming and since we visited during winter, the model was covered in snow, which was beautiful. The larger model was also surrounded by numerous touch screen panels which gave more in-depth detail as to how the model was used during filming of the movies.

Hogwarts in snow, Harry Potter World Studio Tour, England, WatfordHogwarts in snow at Harry Potter World Studio Tour, Watford,
Hogwarts in snow, Harry Potter World Studio Tour, England, WatfordHogwarts in snow Harry Potter World Studio Tour, England, WatfordThe larger model of Hogwarts covered in snowDetails on clock tower, Harry Potter World Studio Tour, England, LondonOne of the touch screen panels – “Keeping Perfect Time: All of the miniature clock taken in the castle were carefully set to match the time of day that a scene was meant to take place”

If you read and/or saw the Harry Potter movies, you will definitely enjoy the Harry Potter World Studio Tour. While I was tempted to watch all seven movies prior to visiting in an attempt to refresh my memory, I knew it wasn’t feasible due to the short time frame but I mostly definitely did a movie marathon of the Harry Potter films AFTER the visit! 😉

Fauxionable Outfit – Colors in Barcelona

A quarter of the year has flown by since my last post (eek!) and I was traveling quite a bit. Since my last post, I have:

  • Had another wedding, our Catholic church wedding in New York
  • Tested our wedding vows in dealing with a health situation
  • Traveled back to Motherland (Malaysia) and Singapore
  • Had a haircut
  • Traveled to Barcelona and Menorca for our birthday vacation
  • Changed blog hosting providers; and
  • Learned how to sew on a sewing machine!

I have been slacking off blogging but I am definitely not short on content to blog, that’s for sure! So without further ado, here’s the outfit I wore on our first day in Barcelona. I last wore this dress here and it’s my most pinned item on Pinterest. It’s too pretty a dress to be sitting in the closet so I brought it along for our birthday vacation!

Fauxionable Outfit - Colors in Barcelona, Ranna Gill, Anthropologie, ZARA, Chanel WOC, wallet on chain, La Pedrera

Chanel Reissue 2.55 Wallet on Chain, WOC, Michael Kors MK5384

Anthropologie Tropicalia Maxi Dress, Ranna Gill, Colors in Barcelona, Maxi Silk DressDiesel sneakers, Ranna Gill, Anthropologie Tropicalia Maxi Dress, Colors in Barcelona