Barcelona: Style and Travel Guide

Barcelona: Style and Travel Guide

There are a few reasons why I visited Barcelona again: Because my best friend was traveling to another country for the first time; I had only been to Barcelona for one night last year with my family before we did a road trip through Spain (I only saw La Boqueria and Las Ramblas); and my husband and I have had to stay in Europe waiting for his Visa approval to move to the USA, so why not explore while I can?

The number one thing on my list to do this time was to visit

SAGRADA Família:

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It was pouring raining when I got to this magnificent cathedral by architect Gaudi. My dress was a gift from Romwe and since it was white, my dress became see-through! I hid myself in a restaurant near by until the sun came out again, and by then my dress was dry.

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All the details were as amazing as I thought they would be. Also there was very minimal refurbishing work done and so there were no construction cranes blocking the view like in recent months. This is an absolute must to visit for anyone visiting Barcelona or who lives there, it is the heart of the city.

W HOTEL: 

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Above, here I’m at the 25th floor of the W Hotel, it’s been a dream to finally come stay here and experience it. I find the best deals through Expedia booking.

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The best vibes for sure, instantly you feel lucky and luxurious at the same time to be at a place like this W Hotel Barcelona! It is certainly a landmark as the location and shape of the massive hotel can be seen from miles away, pictured below behind us at the beach.

BEACH & MARINA:

 

It was so amazing to spend time with my bestie again, I was so happy for her to get some international experience, and I could tell she loved the exploring. We walked through the beach area and also walked through the Marina as a group, with my best friend Teresa and her boyfriend Andre. The more you walk around the more you realize there are endless roads to take and there are new areas to discover, especially near the water. I’m wearing a denim Storets top and a NA-KD fashion dress in these photos. Along with my Gucci bag, Valentino flats and Converse shoes.

PARK GUELL (GAUDI):

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It was absolutely amazing to see this park. Ever since I’ve seen people posting pictures with this amazing view and mosaic benches, I had to see it for myself! I wore my Iro dress from Blue&Cream, which had lots of colors in it to match the design of the park. The park is so unique with shapes like snakes and slithering animals, with themes of reptiles. It seemed closer to nature than most architecture is.

 

The view overlooks Barcelona and you can also see the water, not so well in my pictures. There were countless amounts of people but I had come in the final group and so I just waited for the park to start closing before I took my pictures.

HOTEL SB PLAZA EUROPA:

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Not many hotels have rooftop pools in Barcelona, and when they do, they are not always the most attractive. But when I scrolled through this Hotel SB PLAZA EUROPA on Expedia, I knew it was the hotel I should stay at next. Since I was just getting a single room, it was the best price hotel for the most attractive amenities. It is further away from the city center, so either you have to do a lot of walking or you have to pay for taxis, which does add up. They have a bar on the rooftop also so I invited Teresa and her boyfriend to join me.

Below is the mall that was right next door, Gran Via 2, where they had an amazing restaurant area, a massive grocery store and many great fashion shops. IMG_6564.PNG

FIRA BARCELONA: 

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My taxi drove by Fira at night, and I was absolutely in love with the architecture and had to come see it the next day. Since I had moved hotels, I was getting sick of taking so many taxis around, so I just started to walk for 6 hours! It feels so great to do that in cities, because there is so much to see in small amount of space, so it is impossible to get bored. I’m wearing my Storets top, Chanel bag (with extra clothes inside) and my Gucci sneakers.

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There is a shopping mall beneath this view but you can take an elevator up for 2 euros to see the 360 view of Fira and other parts of Barcelona. There were many restaurants up there and so I had a quick bite at the Japanese restaurant (I had already eaten so much Paella!). After a full time of exploring, seeing friends, and having some alone time, I felt I had seen plenty but will be back again for more. Early the next day I took my flight home, even though it was a last minute booking I still found the best price on Skyscanner. Till next time, Barcelona!

 

The Time We Went to Paris: Fashion Week 2015

The Time We Went to Paris: Fashion Week 2015

 

There are so many things to appreciate about Paris, and I was so thrilled to have visited. It was always a dream after watching romantic movies and many travel photos of my friends able to go and see the wonderful sights. I realize that it almost seems like an extremely strong magnetic pull for me to go and visit certain places, they beckon me like it was my pathway in life to pass through. Paris, was certainly one of those destinations. Unfortunately, months later, there was terrible news about terrorist attacks, and I certainly prayed.

It just so happens that we came the weekend before fashion week and naturally enjoyed as more people came in the beginning of the week with their fashion maximized outfits. My boyfriend was so great to take my pictures and help capture my first time in this dreamy city.

When I pack for a trip less than a week, I know I have to be limited in items of clothes but also have high versatility. I mixed and matched many of my pieces throughout the days, like my leopard print strappy heels, my leather jacket and leather dress. I also made sure to bring layering pieces as well like my denim button down and sweaters, just in case it would get warmer or colder.

I really believe that we should all just go for what truly makes us happy and if that sparkle in your eye comes to you by being in Paris, by all means, just get on the next flight and go! Bonjour, till next time.

My Little Hideaway Place

My Little Hideaway Place

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Since moving from NYC, I must say that I get a bit nostalgic of the classy lounges and bars I used to visit often. In the small city in Germany I live now, I find there are more “charming” places many centuries old and I do not find more modern elegance. This hotel Der Oschbergof is my little happy place to visit and to appreciate the new elements of German interior architecture and the lovely Golf and walking grounds.

Although it is a fancier hotel where some dress up, I decided to make a blend of an outfit to match the more casual feeling of German culture and the dressier side of this hotel. I wore bell bottom denim with an Alice and Olivia Bodysuit underneath my criss-crossed sweater. I like to add elements of basic and unusual shapes together. Since the weather is getting a bit chillier here, I wore my espadrilles that I got in a German boutique and carried my Louis Voutton Alma Bag.

Inside the hotel there is a cigar lounge which seems a bit masculine but certainly my kind of taste every so often, and took off my sweater to enjoy the warmth of the fire. Autumn brings versatility in your outfits and so I find it fun to dress for outside and inside. Cheers =)

xoxo,

Catherine Wanders

Finding Balance in Wu Long Karst, China

Finding Balance in Wu Long Karst, China

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I will get back to posting outfit pictures once I do some more catching up on my summer travels. But Wu Long Karst, China is definitely an impressive place with 3 natural bridges of rock overshadowing the beautiful center building in the midst of it all. All of these photos are not edited. The building was made in 600 AD and looked to be in wonderful condition. The golden throne is actually inside one of the buildings and is open for the public to take a photo with it for a small fee. It seems a bit weird how commercialized such sacred places are in China. Especially since this area has had a couple famous movies filmed, one was the 2014 Transformers movie and then also some Kung Fu film in Chinese.

I was wearing my Asics shoes for comfort since there was a lot of walking, and a pair of Rag and Bone denim shorts which still let me do my yoga move in the middle of a stream in between the different natural bridges. The entire place was so scenic that people were taking photos of every single part of the walk.

This was an extremely remote area in China and so I feel very lucky to have experienced this. I am a fan of visiting the lesser known and the more known places of the world, it is all exciting and new to me.

Lake Maggiore in Stresa, Italy

Lake Maggiore in Stresa, Italy
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Amazing view from the terrace

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A couple levels down from the terrace and you see a little lake beach and gorgeous mountains
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The pool had glittering stones in the bottom and gave extra beauty to the hotel
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The dinner view with sunset ❤
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My Dinner Date =)
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Even when raining the terrace is beautiful
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Grabbing a bite in a neighboring Italian neighborhood on Lake Maggiore

After traveling over the Swiss Alps and going through some winding streets, we found ourselves in Lake Maggiore in Stresa Italy. We stayed at Hotel Splended, a sweet hotel right on the water and walking distance to a little lake town with cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. The view was so beautiful, I found myself in shock every time I looked at it.

I honestly prefer to go in pools, so I spent a nice day relaxing poolside with refreshing Aperol Spritz cocktails and dipping in the cool water whenever I felt I had enough sun. Later in the evenings we would either walk to find restaurants along the water or stay at the restaurant at the hotel. My favorite was the restaurant at the hotel because of the magnificent view and service. It was an extremely romantic place for Champagne, Italian eats and great company.

When walking around the shops and promenade it was easiest to wear little sundresses and at night time flowy tops and shorts with heels to cool down in the summer air. I will definitely recommend to visit this romantic area.

The Swiss Alps: Jaw Dropping Beautiful

The Swiss Alps: Jaw Dropping Beautiful

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The Swiss Alps seemed like a distant idea in my mind, thinking that I would never venture there in my life but I knew they existed. We ended up traveling over the mountains to get to Italy. It was breathtaking to see the beautiful water and the gorgeous light blue water lakes scattered throughout. It is possible to take a faster route by driving through the tunnels, but since it was my first time seeing the Alps we decided to make the climb, and I am so glad we did.

Right at the point that you can turn into the tunnel or climb the mountains, you can see this lookout point right after it. There I stand just beaming with happiness surrounded by layers of mountain peaks that I had only dreamed to see before. It was a pleasantly warm day, and so I threw on a pair of red shorts I got from an online boutique, a lace loose tank and my summery Phillip Lim 3.1 bag in Yellow. My nude flats are a favorite of mine to match with everything and dressier than a sneaker or pair of flip flops.

On the way over we also stopped for dinner with a view of that gorgeous blue water lake in the last picture. It was such a romantic and surreal visual and I just had to capture it. Next stop was Italia!

xoxo

Catherine

CatherineWanders.com 

Instagram: @CatherineWanders