We’re hoooome! London was absolutely amazing. If you ever get the chance to do the Harry Potter tour at the Warner Bros. Studios, definitely definitely go do it, because it’s fascinating and fantastic. I did a little vlog of the highlights on my own personal Facebook, but I figured I’d run through some of the best bits with you guys.
Day 1 – Travel, Arrival and First Night
So the train ride down to London was a little delayed, so it took us about five hours instead of three to actually arrive in London. Taryn and I had opposite aisle seats with a table, and as the window seats were vacant, we figured we’d shimmy along so we could get a better view of the British countryside. Of course, this lasted about half an hour, until two obnoxious older men boarded, and basically told us to move. Didn’t ask, no. Told. Wow. After realising one of them was extremely hungover, we returned the rudeness by eating Doritos as loudly and as messily as possible.
So they eventually left at their stop. They did apologise, and because we’re Northern we both sort of went “Oh, no, it’s okay! Don’t worry about it!” while brushing Dorito crumbs off our shirts.
And then another couple boarded. This time, an American mother and daughter who were also heading down to London. And, because geekiness brings people together, we discovered that they two were Harry Potter fans, so we chatted and talked and pretty much became friends 😀 oh, and of course I plugged The Old Ways to them. The mother was a librarian back in the states, so she seemed really interested. They were great fun 😀
So we arrived in London, and stepping off the train thought that somehow we had ended up in Spain. Oh my goodness, it was so HOT. I think the temperature jumped about 20 degrees. I was foolish enough to wear tall boots and socks and a black t-shirt, so I pretty much melted. This weather didn’t let up, either. It remained a bajillion degrees almost the entire weekend.
Our first night, we were also given a complimentary meal, for which we could choose any restaurant from an Imperial Franchise hotel. So we decided on a nice-looking hotel down the street. Okay, we’ll never do that again. The food, although it was nice, was kinda cold. The staff were beyond rude. And we were practically pushed out of the door without ceremony. There was no friendliness at all. Not one waiter smiled. We felt very intimidated. But, thankfully, it was the only time we felt uncomfortable during our trip.
Day 2 – Warner Bros Studios
This was the day we’d been building up to. The most exciting day of the whole weekend. The Harry Potter tour! Dressed, of course, in our Slytherin t-shirts (Slytherin Pride, yo!)
We had our breakfast and headed off. We arrived a little early, so we went to a cafe and had a cuppa while we waited. This place was nice. It was cute and cosy and a little small, but it felt quite homey, so we could relax here. Our tour bus arrived, and we headed off to the studio.
It was still blisteringly hot outside, so we shuffled along inside and milled about for a while. Eventually we got inside (a little late because of the length of the queue). The tour… wow. It’s apparently meant to last about 2 hours, but we stayed from 11:30 until about 3:30. Apparently the record is 13 hours?! :O
So we got the initial guided tour of the Great Hall (and got very offended when some people booed the Slytherin robes against the wall), and were set loose to look around at our own pace. General props and sets first, costumes, the Yule Ball, Dumbledore’s Office, the Gryffindor Dorm, Malfoy Manor, Borgin & Burkes, Diagon Alley. The full exterior of Privet Drive. The huuuuge door to the Chamber of Secrets.
I think our favourite part was the creature workshop, where all the animatronics, the waxworks, the creature designs, etc, were. I did, however, stagger back and had to grab onto Taryn when I saw the enormous model of Aragog. Not only did they HANG IT IN THE AIR LOOKING DOWN ON YOU, but it’s absolutely gigantic. I think it was bigger than my own living room. Which is really not cool when you have severe arachnophobia. However, I was distracted by the model of the Hungarian Horntail head, and the head of the basilisk.
MOVING SWIFTLY ON…
Gift shop, of course. My stepdad wanted socks, I bought him a Gryffindor pair. Bought some Harry Potter themed sweeties. Bought a wand. Cause why not? I really wanted Luna’s wand, but I ended up with Bellatrix’s instead. She’s my second favourite character 😀
Day 3 – Picadilly Circus, Rain, and The Return Home
By Day 3, we were both pretty exhausted. Day 2 had really taken it out of both of us, so we decided to have a little trip into the heart of the city and do some tourist-y things. We didn’t get that much time, so we ended up just walking around Trafalgar Square, taking a few pictures. We shuffled off to lunch at a posh little cafe where the cakes were so intricate I swear they’d been made by teeny tiny imps.
And then the heavens opened.
It bucketed down. I loved it. Every Londoner was running to hide under shelter. Taryn and I just went “meh” and walked out. I’ve danced in a lot worse, but it was refreshing and invigorating. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were drenched and ridiculously happy.
And then, of course, it was time to come home. One taxi-ride later (driven by possibly the world’s most depressed driver), we arrived at King’s Cross, boarded our butts onto the train, and came home.
But I think the best bit about this entire holiday was coming home to see my normally antisocial little kitty running towards me as soon as I walked in the door, chirping her little kitty head off, and planting big wet kitty kisses all over my nose.
I love my Loony Luna. And I’m so pleased she loves me too.
Blessed Be, my darling pixies!