On Wednesday I arrived in London and checked into my room at Doubletree Hilton Hotel. I will admit it was a tad far of a commute each day but the breakfast buffet at the hotel made it totally worth it and not to mention my Oyster card cut me off at 11 (pounds) per day which saved me a lot. Thursday was my favourite day in London for sure. I went to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour of Harry Potter and it surpassed any prior expectations I had. To say it was incredible would be a huge understatement. I started the day by walking through the set doors to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (literally) and entering into the great hall. Section by section I learned about the work that went into making all the magic on screen a reality. I saw sets, costumes, and props and even got to ride a broom in a green screen room! I got to try butter beer which was just scrumptious. As my day winded to a close, I made my way into the last room and saw the miniature set of Hogwarts which was used to film all the far away shots of the castle. The amount of detail was insane and I left the studios not disappointed by now knowing how the magic was done but instead even more amazed at how incredible and creative these talented individuals were to be able to create the magic world of Harry Potter that I have grown to love.
Of course, as much as I am a Harry Potter fanatic I did go to London to see other things. I did a tour of Windsor Castle, the Stonehenge and of Oxford. The Stonehenge was just so curious and amazing. It left me in wonder at how people so long ago could have moved such massive stones. Our guide Susan was the most precious British woman ever. With her quick wit and great sense of humor she made the day just that much better and of course her amazing accent and cute style helped too! On the weekend I finally got to exploring the city. I met up with Rachelle’s cousin Pat and she showed me around, taking me to all the tourist spots like Buckingham Palace where we caught the changing of the guards and to Big Ben, Parliament, the London Eye, and the Westminster Abbey, the church where Kate and William got married. Later on I met up with Stacey which was fantastic and definitely made my trip. It was great to get to see her and to catch up with her. She took me to the New Tate Museum which is full of exhibits of modern art. We wandered through there then went for a delicious dinner in Soho. My last day I spent wandering through the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A Museum (bonus all museums are free in London with the exception of a few exhibits). The V&A had an amazing section on fashion and one on South East Asia which I found to be absolutely fascinating. Afterwards I met up with Stacey and we wandered through Hyde Park, visiting the architecture exhibit beside the Serpentine Gallery and finishing up at Kensington Palace where we sadly had to part ways. It was great to reunite with her and although I didn’t get to meet her husband Sugu, or as I now refer to him as the infamous Sugu, it was a truly fantastic week and I guess I’ll have to go back to visit her again to get to meet her husband and to see her house!