Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Barcelona ’17, Day 2 – The Harry Potter Café, Sightseeing and High Tea

Our second day in Barcelona was planned to the brim with fun activities. For Josine and me it was our only day we could do some sightseeing or do other, event-unrelated things. My only wish was to see the Sagrada Familia and I was fine with anything additional. Isa had a lot to do in the morning for the event, so we ended up going out with her boyfriend Josh, who had arrived the evening before as well. He is a really nice guy, so of course that was no problem.
First we walked to the nearest metro station to buy some public transport tickets. In the end it wouldn’t have been really necessary, since we didn’t make use of public transport that much, but we thought we would so we did. So we bought some tickets and then walked to the bus stop, from where we drove for about ten minutes to our first destination: the Harry Potter café.

On the Way
Taking the bus in Barcelona.

Although this café isn’t literally called that, but instead bears the name of the ‘Pudding Coffee Shop’, but everyone knows it as the Harry Potter café. With reason by the way, because it is fully Harry Potter-themed. The café must have done some great business during the days surrounding Omnia Vanitas, because apparently a lot of Lolitas went there! Including us, haha. ^^
Apparently, Barcelona has several really interesting themed cafés. We visited two during this trip and if we had had more time, I would have loved to see more of them!
While we were waiting for our friends with whom we would meet, Josine and I took some outfit pictures. Josine went all out during our entire trip, while I went for casual and colourful when Japanese Fashion wasn’t required.

Outfit pictures at the Harry Potter café. Doesn’t Josine look stunning!?

Soon our friends arrived and we all started taking pictures of the lovely café. From the outside it looked very promising already!

Café One
The outside of the Harry Potter café.

We went inside and were pleasantly surprised by the beautiful surroundings. On the right, next to the window were some cute seats and in the floor there were windows to the room downstairs. Right next to it was a beautiful painting on the wall, of the little boats on the lake floating toward Hogwarts. On the left was a big wall filled with books and other items in the house colours and across from the entrance there was a set of stairs, one leading downstairs to the check out and pastry desk, one leading upstairs to what looked like a cosy little library filled with tables and chairs.

Café Two
Some pictures I took of several sides of the café.

We all sat down at a big table (we were with about six or seven people) and checked out the menu. Either I was really in the mood for cheesecake or I had heard they had a really good one at this café, since I went with white chocolate cheese cake. And hot chocolate with marshmallows. As you do.
I had a feeling our waitress wasn’t in the best mood and I felt like it was because she had to try and speak English with us. This is purely based upon my own gut feeling (and that of my friends), but well. You’d expect the opposite in a touristic city like Barcelona, but well. Like I said; just my gut feeling. Anyway, we ordered and just chatted until our food arrived.

My absolutely divine chocolate combination. ♥

Besides the slightly grumpy service, the food was absolutely divine! The combination of hot chocolate with (slightly huge) marshmallows and white chocolate cheese cake was incredibly heavy, but so good! I couldn’t even finish the cheese cake, I nearly cried because I wanted to anyway because it was so good! XD
We had a great time just chatting and eating, but all good things must come to an end. We collectively went downstairs to pay, but not before I had taken a look at the room downstairs. Which turned out to look like a mixture of the Great Hall and a lovely common room.

Café Three
This café was just too cool to be true!

Sadly, when we went to pay we once again encountered the rather rude behaviour of the waitresses. Apparently it was impossible to pay separately, so we all had to scramble around coins to pay together. Naturally, this isn’t a huge deal, but the way it was handled was just… not very friendly. We all did receive a cookie afterwards though. That was nice I guess? XD
Josine and I said goodbye to our friends and together with Josh we went on our way to the Sagrada Familia! I had no idea what to expect, but what we encountered I definitely didn’t expect, haha! After we had walked for a bit, we soon walked around a corner and there it was: the world famous Sagrada Familia.

Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia!

However, it was not only surrounded by apartment buildings, but also by tons of construction buildings and cranes. Now I know the Sagrada Familia is famous for never being finished, but I didn’t expect the place to be such a mess. But not only that, the building itself was just… not my taste at all. I just thought it honestly looked really ugly, I’m so sorry. It looked as if it was made of melting mud… Also, it was just dripping with tackiness! There was literally written ‘Gloria’ all over it, I mean!?
Now I have to say that apparently, from a bit further distance and from the back, the building seems to be much prettier (from what I’ve seen on pictures). And I could see some of the statues were kind of beautiful. But all in all it looked like a brown melting Christmas tree. Maybe someday I will revisit it and be able to appreciate it more? I hope so!

Sagrada Detail
This close up is kind of nice.

I deliberately chose the most appealing pictures I took, since I’d like to portray the Sagrada Familia the best way I can. XD And naturally, a selfie to prove I was there.

Sagrada Selfie
Look, I actually did stand in front of it!

We didn’t have time (or money) to go inside, so we started walking back to the apartment. There we would meet up again with Isa.
Back at the apartment we chilled for a bit before we headed to the Mandarin oriental Hotel, where we would meet with a big group of people for lunch/tea. To kill time I stole Isa’s shoes to try them on because they were just so amazing!

Gold Shoe
Like walking on fairydust!

We then took a taxi to the Mandarin Oriental, where we met up with a big group of Lolitas. Most of them were either from the UK or the USA, which was really cool! I met a lot of nice people that day. ^^
We walked all the way through the hotel to the big, modern-looking fancy room of the Bistreau Ángel León, where we were sat at a long table. Although modern isn’t quite my style, this place looked rather cool.

Mandarin Oriental
This place reminded me a bit of a beehive.

While we were chatting, we looked at the menu. We could pick a drink, a savoury dish and a pastry. The options all sounded quite appealing.

The bright yellow menu of Bistreau Ángel León.

I had a hard time choosing (as always) but went with a glad of fresh orange juice, a salmon bagel and a chocolate pastry. I don’t remember whether we waited for a long time, but we chatted merrily with one another so time passed by quickly anyway.
Finally, our food arrived. Some people had chosen really fancy teas, but I was just as pleased with my delicious choices!

Fancy Lunch
I ate a lot of good food that day!

Before we knew it, it was time for Josine, Isa, Josh and me to leave. We were going to help Magda, one of the Spanish organisers, at her Lolita shop, Madame Chocolat, to prepare some things for the event the next day. We said goodbye to everyone, went to pay and then went on our way by foot, since the shop wasn’t very far.
After a while we arrived there. The shop was small but very cosy.

Madame Chocolat One
Madame Chocolat.

Josine and I browsed the shop for a while Isa and Magda discussed some things. The shop sold a large variety of items. From magazines to accessories and from bags to blouses. Some blouses were just so lovely, I didn’t dare to look at them too much!

Madame Chocolat Two
Some pictures taken inside the shop.

In the end Josine and I weren’t necessary after all, so while Isa and Josh went to buy some things we returned to the apartment and prepared some things for the next day. When Isa returned, we prepared some price tags for some of the brands and then it was time to go to sleep. The next day would be quite an intense one!

Thank you for reading! ~☆~

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Barcelona ’17, Day 1 – The Journey to Spain

Since I didn’t write many blogposts during these past months, I barely mentioned the event Omnia Vanitas, organised by Street Fashion Europe, in Barcelona. I think I only mentioned it in this particular post, but other than that not so much. Just in case you’ve missed it: last year, in May, I helped organising the event Under the Sea, taking place in Amsterdam. After that, I became an official member of Street Fashion Europe, which meant I would help organise the upcoming events as well!
On March 18th and 19th Omnia Vanitas took place in Barcelona, Spain and together with my friend Josine I went there to help and organise.
Unfortunately, my memory is not as great as it used to be, this event took place quite a while ago and I wasn’t feeling very well throughout it, so I won’t be able to write about this trip as extensively as I normally would, but please bear with me! ♥

On Thursday March 16th Josine and I gathered our last things. Josine had stayed over at my place, so we could travel to the airport together easily. We could both only bring a hand luggage suitcase, so we couldn’t bring too much with us.

Packing the last things before our trip.

My mom was kind enough to drive us to the train station, where we said goodbye. Then, our big Barcelona adventure began! Our train arrived on time luckily and before we knew it, we had already almost arrived at the airport.

On our way to the airport.

We arrived at the airport and went to find our flight on the screen. I am always surprised by how many planes are arriving and leaving. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that!

Can you find our flight?

Since we didn’t have anything else to do, we headed to customs. We had to stand in line for a while, but not for long. After getting checked from head to toe and me having to hand in my deodorant (haha) we entered the airport.
We headed towards our gate, which was quite a long walk away and after we finally found it (we first walked into a closed door, what? XD) we noticed a familiar face among the passengers: it was Nina aka Chokelate! We chatted for a bit until it was suddenly time to board.

Our plane, waiting for us to board.

We went to stand in line and when we showed our passports and such we suddenly heard we had to hand in our luggage since the plane was too full. I was quite annoyed by this, since the only upside of having hand luggage instead of full luggage was the fact we wouldn’t have to wait at the luggage belt for our suitcases once we arrived. The main reason we had chosen for hand luggage was money, not necessarily because we wanted to, and this was honestly the only positive thing about it. Oh well.
Before we knew it we sat down in our seats. I texted some people and then turned off my phone, when suddenly the plane already started moving! Soon we were up in the sky and would land in Barcelona after a bit over two hours.
After a short while we even received some food! I love airplane food, still after many flights! We got some wraps with cream cheese, very nice. ^^

Airplane Food
Airplane food. ♥

The flight was a lot of fun! Of course I had Josine to chat with, but the weather was also really nice outside and one of my dreams came true: we flew over Paris! I could see the Arc de Triomphe and Jardin des Tuileries and after some searching even the Eiffeltower! It was so cool!

Paris in the Distance
Naturally, this picture is incredibly zoomed in and not very good, but you can see the Eiffeltower and Champs-de-Mars!

I know this may sound a little weird, but I had a real sense of maturity being on a trip with a friend. I can’t really explain it, but it was a really nice feeling. I was glad I could share this adventure with Josine. ♥

Airplane selfie~!

Not long after, the plane started its descend. We made a big turn over the sea and could see Barcelona outside our window.

Barcelona in the Distance

Our plane landed, we got out and went on the hunt for our luggage. We bumped into Nina again and not long after our suitcases appeared.
We went through the gates, where Isa was waiting for us. Isa is a fellow Street Fashion Europe organiser, from Spain, and our roommate for the trip! So a lot of hugs and kisses followed at our meeting.
Initially Josine and I thought Isa wanted to stay at the airport with us and wait for the guests, but instead we went downstairs to the airport bus and would continue our journey to our Airbnb. The bus ride was nice and we got to see some sights of Barcelona while tour guide Isa told us some things about them. XD
At the end of the ride we got out and followed Isa to our Airbnb; an apartment with an absolutely gorgeous entrance. Isa handed us the keys and headed back to the airport to pick up the event guests. Josine and I took the elevator up to the… something floor. I think the fifth or sixth? Anyway, it was a lovely apartment with three bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a living room. And a view ladies and gentlemen! You know how in movies people always have a view upon the Eiffeltower when in Paris or on the Big Ben when in London. Well, we really had a view upon the Sagrada Familia!

I couldn’t believe our amazing view!

Josine and I spend our time exploring the apartment for a bit and waiting for Isa to return… which took a very long time. Isa had been quiet on our chat for a while and when Josine and I were starting to get worried, Isa called us to tell us she was fine. Pfew! XD She said she and the guests had just arrived at a restaurant and gave us the address. What followed was an hour of me and Josine searching for this particular restaurant that was just nowhere to be found! We encountered shop guys complimenting me on my hair (wtf), a scary-looking police officer who turned out to be really nice and finally we just called Isa to come and save us. It turned out we had been in every wrong direction pretty much possible! Great. x)
When we arrived at the restaurant everyone was pretty much done eating and hey, I also found myself in a panic attack! Fantastic. Our first night in Barcelona wasn’t completely what I imagined so to say. XD
Finally, the special guests offered us some of their food, which was really nice and we went to bed quite late. Josine and I stayed up to chat some more and finally we went to sleep, since we needed it. x)

Thank you for reading! ~☆~