Cinque Terre has been a dream destination for the longest time now. And ever since Pinterest, it became an unhealthy obsession and I knew I had to visit this place soon! When I told friends and family about this destination, a lot of them hadn't even heard of it. And when I showed them images, they were completely bowled over. Cinque Terre, to those who don't know, is a UNESCO world heritage site and is a protected place. Cinque translates to 5 and Terre is earth or land. So "5 lands" is basically a collection of 5 quaint little towns - Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso - spaced out in almost equal distances from each other on the Ligurian coast each packed with it's own cute little charm and amazing postcard views from every damn angle!
It's been more than a week since I'm back, and I still haven't experienced the rains in Mumbai yet! Not counting the night time mini showers, but I was really waiting to put on my rain boots and splash in some puddles. Sadly, that's going to have to wait, and I'm still enjoying a bit of an extended summer here. And this seemed like the perfect outfit for it.
When I selected this dress, I was traveling and at that time, when I looked at this dress from Sheinside, I kept thinking summer and resort. Also now, the shades of deep blue and the lighter ones remind me of my favourite holiday haunt - Cinque Terre - making me reminisce about the different tones the sea transformed into, dark blue during the boat ride and at sunset, lighter blue and a few shades of cyan near the rocky regions of the cliffs and the beach. And the flowers on my dress? Those were so like the flowers that rained down from random balconies on the streets of these towns. This is just a small descriptive preview to the upcoming post about Cinque Terre of course, because I have tons of images to share soon!
Paris!! The most cliched and common touristic destination in Europe. The city of love. The city of dreams. The city where most Hollywood romantic characters run to before the climax. Well, you get the picture. When I decided that I was going to take time off and do a solo European trip, there was no way I was going to leave out Paris, even though I've already visited and seen this city. It's a different thing when you visit with family or friends, and it's a completely whole other experience when you go alone. You wake up on your own time. You see the things you want to see, and eat exactly what you feel like eating and find the need to make conversations with strangers, even if the conversations are about asking them to take a picture of you, or directions to the closest metro station. The experience is just fantastic.
Ever since I planned my itinerary, I had a list of lovely cities I was going to visit with breath-taking views and iconic and historic sights. But I willed myself to wear regular touristy clothes and not dress up to pose for a photoshoot. I mean it would have been lovely to get outfit posts done at all these beautiful places, but I thought I'd be a little more realistic. A two month travel is no joke and I'm stuck with 2 handbags for the entire trip. Also shoes. I have just 4 pairs with me, which still is a lot but also too less! And lastly, the clothes itself. Choosing outfits that can be layered and reused to create different looks is a task by itself. And let's not forget picking garments that don't crease a lot because that beautiful crumpled up cotton dress will stay exactly like that in my suitcase, until I find an iron or something!
I got to Barcelona with a list of too many things to do and very little time to do them all. So I had to shortlist things that really needed to be done. And of course in the hopes of returning to Barcelona again, I set out with a few things to do (all of that will be up soon in another post). One thing that didn't make my list was shopping. It's strange, but yes. I was counting my baggage weight and since I was travelling internally on budget flights, the weight restriction is very strict and I could not afford going overboard at all. So shopping comes towards the end of my trip. And for the longest time, I've dreamed of walking into a Mango or Zara outlet, and walking away with an entire new wardrobe for a fraction of the usual prices. I didn't manage to find an outlet of either, but I still didn't get anything from them because every single thing I saw on the racks carried a "made in India" tag and with it came the smallest possibility of finding that same piece in a surplus shop or on the streets of Colaba. So that was a disappointment.
Honestly, before the start of my trip, I had not even heard of Sitges and didn't even know it existed. And why would I? The first place or city that I would associate with Spain is Barcelona, thanks to football and Gaudi. And I would have missed out on this quaint little town if not for the wedding I was a guest at! But I'm so glad that happened. As much as I love the city life and the hustle and bustle of activity all around, I really love some quiet time as well. And Sitges is just perfect! A little too perfect maybe.