Thursday, 27 April 2017

quinta das lágrimas gardens

Who doesn't love a good garden? This one - Quinta das Lágrimas Gardens - is the nearest to me, and of course I've been there a couple of times to see how everything's been coming into bloom. The gardens date back to the 14th century (everything in Coimbra is old, and I love it!) and have different sections from medieval and romantic gardens to a bamboo garden, the woods and an amphitheatre. One of the historical stories I've come to study while being in Portugal is that of Pedro and Inês. Some have compared their story to Romeo and Juliet - except Pedro and Inês were real. And since they lived in Coimbra for some of their lives, a lot of the places here are connected to them; for example, this garden. The basic storyline of Pedro and Inês is that the prince's marriage to Inês is opposed by his parents and other nobility due to her not being officially a member of the nobility (illegimate descent), yet they do marry but there's a plot against the two and Inês is murdered (in this monastery). The two main fountains at Quinta das Lágrimas are the "Fountain of Love" that witnessed the love of these two and the "Fountain of Tears" (Lágrimas) that was created by the tears of Inês as she died. It is definitely a place frequeted by lovers and romantics who seem to throw coins in the Fountain of Love, tie red ribbons in the woods or carve their names in the bamboo garden on a regular basis. Bu it's a cool place to visit even if you don't have a honey and just want to see some pretty flowers (cornflowers and granny's bonnets have always been some of my favourites!). And not every history fact is related to Pedro and Inês (I'm not sure how reliable all the stories I've heard are, after all): a more random one would be that the Duke of Wellington visited this garden in 1813 and there's two trees planted in his honour that you can find, too!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

seventies flowers

 Dress - Self-made
Shoes - Vagabond
Socks - Topshop
Sunglasses - Citymarket
Rucksack - Amazon

The Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra is one of my favourite places in the city - and probably one of the places I've visited the most. These pictures are from two separate times and I went there yet again today and have even more photos I want to share now. It's been lovely seeing the progress of everything coming into bloom, seeing spring and summer arrive. Going at least once a month seems like a must just to see what's different every time. I just really love gardens. There's also been lots of plants I've either not seen before or don't know what they are, so my visits are clearly almost educational (if only I remembered all of the Latin names once I get back home).

A botanical garden seemed like the perfect place to take photos of this floral dress. I made it almost a year ago and never got around to either taking photos of or even wearing it that much. I used a 70s pattern (that I bought years ago in a charity shop!) and the fabric's from around the 70s as well. It's so comfortable, roomy, pretty and - most importantly - has pockets! I like wearing it without the belt too, but have been told it looks like a maternity dress when I do so (rude). As Portugal's gotten quite warm already, I feel too warm in this dress to wear it most days and am therefore kind of looking forward to the end of summer and cooler days. Only a little, though, and only because I want to wear this more often. Another new thing (relatively, since I bought these last summer and never featured them on the blog before) is the shoes. They're favourites too - I always love Vagabond shoes. I wish I had photos of them when they were brand new and without a scratch, but they do still look good. I feel like I don't wear any of my vintage or retro dresses as much as I used to these days, but I should definitely return to them!

Monday, 17 April 2017

house of minalima: more harry potter and hogwarts

If it hasn't been apparent, I've been on a bit of a Harry Potter kick after visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour and then the House of MinaLima. More than I am usually, that is. I took the initiative to go to London in January before it was announced that the House of MinaLima would stay open after that. So I basically planned a trip to London based on all the Harry Potter things. The tour was amazing. MinaLima was amazing - seeing all the graphic art was heaven. We also visited Leadenhall Market, which in itself is stunning, but also was the location for the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron. I'd also been to London with my friend Emma (the friend I was visiting with) a decade ago (!) when we'd ticked off other Harry Potter locations, like King's Cross, the London Zoo, the Millenium Bridge, and what not. I'm quite good at Harry Potter tourism and feel like I've been to most if not all locations in London and to quite a few in Edinburgh as well. Not to mention that the academic outfit of the University of Coimbra (that I'm now attending) is said to have been an inspiration for the outfits at Hogwarts. Anyway, the House of MinaLima was incredible, would highly recommend going if you somehow haven't yet! Do talk to me about all your favourite Hogwarts things in the comments - whether that be places you've visited or anything else! Freaking love Harry Potter.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

hogwarts, hogwarts, hoggy warty hogwarts

 Hogwarts T-shirt - Primark
Cardi - Topshop
Skirt - Zara
Coat - 2nd hand
Shoes - New look

If you think there's unnecessarily many Harry Potter pictures in this post, you've come to the wrong place since in my world there's no such thing as too many Harry Potter pictures. These are from January, back when I visited the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London. And this is only a small fraction of my photos from the day - it literally took me days to go through them and I still couldn't narrow it down to a few favourites. So here you have about 50. I found January to be a good time to visit as they still had 'Hogwarts in the snow', and for me Hogwarts at Christmas is definitely at its most magical. I absolutely adored it. Every single bit of it. (The only thing I'd say is that it was obviously really busy, and if someone wanted to invite me to a private event/tour, I'd love that, too.) There's not a lot of things I love more than Harry Potter, and I already want to go back. Now that they've added the Forbidden Forest, I think it's reasonable to plan another visit, right? Makes me giddy just thinking about this trip and the possibility of a new one. I did do some smaller purchases at the shop, but still need to save up so that I can buy everything and live my Harry Potter dreams to the fullest. Seeing all the Harry Potter things, learning more about them and drinking all the butterbeer just made me very happy.

If Harry Potter is appropriate for Christmas, it certainly is so for Easter as well (when is an inappropriate time for Harry Potter, though?). Those are the two times I'm most likely to reread the books or rewatch the films. And I hope you all are having a lovely Easter! And maybe add a little Harry Potter to it, too, haha!

Have you been on the tour, how much did you love it? Let's talk all about Harry Potter!
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