As you can see in the following photo, I took a LOT more clothes than on my previous trip! This was partly because this time I was going to be away for nearly two weeks and partly because we were travelling by train so didn't have the same luggage constrictions. Again, the plan was to buy a few things to bring back to Spain, so I made sure that there was enough room in my case to do so.
You will see many different colours in this photo, though my jeans and trousers were neutrals, with the addition of sand trousers, as were my shoes and bag. This works for me, however I know that many bloggers tell you to stick to mainly neutrals when travelling, which is good advice. I try to do the same - honest! - but somehow the colourful tops creep into my suitcase.
I'm sure you've spotted the cobalt jacket on the left, which was an impulse purchase on my first trip to London. I'd brought it along to try and find a dress to go with it. I know! - you should never buy something new unless you already have several items that will go with it - I'm sure I've preached that to you. Trust me, it went well with the white top and jeans I was wearing at the time of purchase. It also matched the green and blue top that I took with me and looks lovely with my gold top. (I wore the blue jacket and gold top flying back from London, though I was mortified to realise that I was wearing Monarch airline colours when I boarded my Monarch flight!) On this trip I was looking for a dress to wear to an important wedding and, as I had decided that I wanted to wear my new jacket for the wedding as well, it made sense to have the jacket with me.
As London had been so warm at the beginning of the month, I included a skirt for going out in the evenings. I never wore it, even in Barcelona! When I checked the forecast for the first week I knew it was going to be a bit cooler however, ever the optimist, I decided that it might warm up for the second week. It didn't, but luckily I had a light down jacket with me as well as the new cobalt jacket. I wore the warmer jacket nearly every day as you can see here:
You may spot a famous tower in the distance. Did I mention that we stopped in Paris as well as Barcelona?
I haven't forgotten that I promised to tell you about a new book called Travel Chic by Ali Martine It's aimed at American readers however, as a Brit living in Spain who likes to visit other parts of Europe and particularly France, I did finds lots of useful nuggets in it, especially the good advice about travelling light (see top picture!). Ali mentions pre-pay options through your hotel, for example for visiting the Louvre in Paris. We've done this in the past, booking a visit to the Alhambra Granada as well as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Apart from saving money, you can skip past the queues of people waiting to buy their entrance tickets, feeling a teeny bit smug.
The safety tips in Travel Chic are well worth reading. At this point I should mention the couple of days we spent in Paris on our trip. We noticed a few more police around, especially in railway stations, but we felt perfectly safe and the Parisians seemed particularly welcoming on this visit. I will definitely be back there next year for my big birthday! Whether I follow Ali's advice about travelling light though awaits to be seen.