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

A Visit to Harry Potter World Studio Tour Part I

We received tickets to Harry Potter World Studio Tour from one of G’s cousins as our wedding gift. I was thrilled as I read all seven books and watched every single movie that was adapted from the books. We had intended to visit during the holidays in December but alas, they were fully booked/sold out! I tried calling again in January and was told that all weekends until March were booked. However, while I was on the phone with the agent, someone else canceled and we were lucky enough to take their spot for the same weekend! Needless to say, if you plan on visiting, please book in advance!

The Harry Potter World Studio Tour is located in Watford Junction, just outside of London. We took a 20-minute train from Euston in London to Watford Junction for £10.20 per person. Once at the station, there were plenty of signs to guide us to the shuttle bus that runs from Watford Junction to Harry Potter World Studio Tour. It was £2 for a return ticket on the shuttle bus and it took about 15 minutes to get to the Harry Potter World Studio Tour from the train station. (WARNING: Picture heavy post!)

Mullany coach bus to Harry Potter World Studio TourThe shuttle bus that runs from Watford Junction to the Harry Potter World Studio Tour

Upon arrival, we were to redeem our tickets at the Ticket counter near the entrance. We were told to redeem our tickets no later than 30 minutes before the starting time of our tour.

Harry Potter World Studio TourEntrance to Harry Potter World Studio Tour

Once we redeemed our tickets, we went into the Studio and wandered around the gift shop since we have a bit of time. There was a lot of memorabilia from the movies sold in the gift shop ranging from jewelry, clothing, toys, books, to food.

Harry Potter World Studio Tour Gift Shop StoreFloating candles in the gift shop store Harry Potter World Studio TourCandies, sweets, chocolate at Harry Potter World Studio Tour

As expected, the gift shop was busy given it was a weekend and we just browsed the store without purchasing anything. We then left to get a quick bite at the cafeteria before the start of our tour. The food was decent and overpriced as most tourist places are. There was also a Starbucks on site inside the Studio. After our refreshing ourselves with some food, we stood in line for the start of our tour.

Professor McGonagall, Weasleys, Moody Mad EyeFlying Car Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets Ford AngliaHarry Potter Closet Bedroom Studio TourCloset Staircase Harry Potter Bedroom Studio Tour

The tour then officially begins past a set of tours with a short film about Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Once the film ends, the screen is lifted to reveal the great doors to the Great Hall.

Doors to the Great Hall Harry Potter World Studio TourGreat Hall Harry Potter World Studio Tour

Once inside the Great Hall, one will find sets, costumes, and props lined along the walls with occasional screens of interviews with directors and producers.

Hufflepuff Great HallRavenclaw in the Great HallSlytherin in the Great HallGryffindor in Great HallRuben Hagrid Harry Potter Studio TourDumbledore in the Great HallSeverus Snape in the Great HallMinerva McGonagall in the Great HallMad Eye MoodyStart of term chocolate feastStart of term chocolate feast from Goblet of FireYule Ball Harry PotterYule Ball from Goblet of FireHair costumes Harry Potter WorldMake up and hairGryffindor Boys DormitoryGryffindor Boy’s DormitoryPortraits in HogwartsPortraits in Hogwarts that were painted after crew staff membersChamber of Secrets Snake DoorSnake door from Chamber of SecretsWizarding Money GoldGalleon (gold), sickle (silver) and knuts (bronze)Harry Potter letters The letters from Philosopher’s Stone

After going through all the elaborate and impressive sets in Studio J (the first of the two studios), I was eager to get some refreshments. Well, what else would be served other than Butterbeer at the refreshments corner?

Butterbeer Harry Potter Studio Tour

G and I both bought a small cup of Butterbeer for £2.95 each. I have been really eager to try it since I have heard good things about it. I wasn’t disappointed! It’s frothy, creamy and just delicious. If you like rootbeer floats, you’ll love Butterbeer. Sadly for G, he took a sip and disliked it, so I was left with two cups of Butterbeer to enjoy in all its glory! Woohoo! 😉

Butterbeer at Harry Potter World Studio TourCheers! (For details of outfit, click here)

There are more pictures to share but I’ll end the post here for now and will resume the second part in an upcoming post! Hope you enjoyed the pictures by far! 🙂