London-Day 5

The fifth day of our trip to London was jam packed with nerdy stuff that would take from our hotel all the way outside of the of the city. We began, of course, with eating breakfast in our hotel room and showering before heading out for the day.

Our first stop was one of the must see attractions for my husband, the Sherlock Holmes museum. He grew up reading the Sherlock Holmes stories as a young boy in Nicaragua and he has a great emotional attachment to them. Even before we got to the museum there was a statue that was in honor of the great detective.

SAM_6703

Obviously Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character so the museum isn’t like a normal museum. Instead it’s a creation of how the house Sherlock and Watson lived in would have looked based on the stories. Although I’ve never read any of the Sherlock stories or seen any of the screen adaptions of the stories I found the museum very interesting. My husband was in hog heaven.

SAM_6710

In addition to having the creations of the rooms that Sherlock and Watson slept in there was a creation of Sherlock’s office.

SAM_6738

My favorite part of the museum were in the rooms where certain scenes from different stories were created using mannequins.

SAM_6815

Even without having read any of the books I found these scenes very interesting. After seeing some of these scenes created in the Sherlock Museum I am interested in reading some of the Sherlock Stories for the first time in my life. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to sit down and pose in some of the Sherlock gear.

SAM_6822

After we were done going through the museum my husband had to buy some souvenirs in the gift shop.

As luck would have it the Sherlock Holmes museum was two doors down from the world’s only official store for the Beatles.

SAM_6829

This was very convenient since the Beatles store is where my mom wanted her souvenir from. I like the Beatles but I am by now means a superfan. The store pretty much had anything and everything that you could possibly want in terms of Beatles memorabilia. I was a bit overwhelmed with what to get my mom. I realized that I should have asked her ahead of time what her favorite Beatles album was. I send her a text but because of the seven hour time difference between London and Denver she didn’t return my text until after we had left the store. Still, I’m sure when I give her the souvenirs I selected for her from the Beatles store she will be thrilled.

The Beatles Store and the Sherlock Museum were both across the street from a Rock N Roll memorabilia store.

SAM_6833

This was also convenient because it allowed my husband to find the gift his brother had requested. My brother-in-law had requested something from a British New Wave band called the Stone Roses. Neither my husband nor I had ever heard of them and we wondered if we would be able to find anything related to them but we just happened to find something while we were at the Rock N Roll memorabilia store, talk about good luck.

When we left the Rock N Roll memorabilia store it was early in the day. We had a lot of time to spare before we had to head anywhere so we checked out a nearby park called St. Regent’s Park.

SAM_6842

Our fifth day was by far the coldest day of our trip.

SAM_6843

It threatened to rain all day but it never did. Despite the clouds and the threat of rain we really enjoyed checking out St. Regent’s Park.  Since we were both cold and hungry we stopped off at one of the little restaurants in the park for a snack and a warm drink.

SAM_6844

After our little pit stop we decided to go by the London Zoo briefly.

SAM_6873

Since it was included in our London Pass and it is right next to St. Regent’s Park we figured there was no reason not to go. Going to a zoo is never at the top of my list but I always enjoy them when I go. I certainly enjoyed our brief time at the London Zoo. I especially enjoyed the butterfly exhibit.

20170404_144428

My other favorite part was seeing the one of the lions.

SAM_6882

The reason we could only spend a brief amount of time in the London Zoo was because we needed to begin making our way back towards the tube because our next off scheduled stop was outside of the city where we had timed tickets for the Making of Harry Potter experience at the Warner Brothers studios. As we made our way back to the tube we enjoyed a different section of St. Regent’s Park.

SAM_6899

Like so many of the amazing parks we have visited over the years in other European cities we were left wishing Los Angeles had more big parks like it.

The trip from St. Regent’s Park to where we could the bus for the Making of Harry Potter experience was a long one. We had to wwhich to the London Overground and take one of those lines all the way to the last stop way outside of the city.

SAM_6903

We didn’t realize it at the time but this trip to the suburb of Watford Junction took a lot of money off of our prepaid Oyster Cards. The trip took quite a while since it was so far outside of the city but since we were just riding on the train it was pretty relaxing. When we arrived at Watford Junction we were a little confused on where to catch the shuttle bus to the Warner Brothers studios.

SAM_6904

Thankfully, the man we asked was very friendly and helpful in directing us to the pick-up location for the bus.

SAM_6905

We got a nice seat on the second level of the double decker bus and I did my best to carefully observe this new area of England that we were in. As the bus navigated the traffic and the traffic circles I was happy that we were just passengers and not drivers.

When were arrived at the Warner Brothers studios we were both very excited.

SAM_6909

We have both read all of the Harry Potter books and seen all of the movies. The Making of Harry Potter is so popular that you have to make timed reservations way ahead of time. When we got around to making our reservations the earliest time we could get was an entry time of 6:30 PM. That entry time was good because it allowed us to do all of the other things we did that day. However, that entry time wasn’t so good because it limited the amount of time we had to enjoy The Making of Harry Potter.  Since the last shuttle bus back to the train station would leave at 9:40 PM we would have only have a little over three hours once we officially entered the attraction. That may sounds like a lot of time but when you think about the fact that there were eight movies it really was barely enough time, but more on that later.

We arrived early enough that we had time eat and shop before our 6:30 reservation time arrived. The food in the restaurant was okay, nothing amazing but better than the food you usually get at tourist attractions. We both had a great time shopping at the gift shop.

SAM_6919

For anybody who likes Harry Potter it would be very difficult to not go hog wild in that gift shop. In fact my husband did go hog wild. While I spent around fifty pounds on souvenirs my husband went all out spending about three times as much as me. He did get some really cool stuff including a Ravenclaw sweater.

20170404_181006

After we were done with our shopping at the gift shop it was time for us to officially enter The Making of Harry Potter. It was so AMAZING. There were so many things I loved that I can’t even name them all. Harry’s spot under the stairs was the first thing we saw.

20170404_182754

The Great Hall was then the next big thing we saw after an introduction video featuring Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, JK Rawling and many other people involved in creating the world that so many of us have loved over the years.

20170404_185353

The wigs of all of the actors were on display.

SAM_6964

It was during this part that we learned that the wig worn by Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange was the most expensive wig of any of the actors.

SAM_6968

The reason for this was the length combined with the fact that it had multiple colors in it. The Marble Staircase was another highlight.

SAM_6974

As was the triwizard cup.

SAM_7001

I loved the potions classroom.

SAM_7034

I adore Hagrid so I was thrilled to see his hut.

SAM_7054

The forbidden forest is a new to the Making of Harry Potter and provided some thrills because of Aragog.

SAM_7101

Seeing Platform 9 ¾ was so much fun.

20170404_200622

Not to mention getting to see and walk through Hogwarts Express.

20170404_195802

When we reached the halfway point we realized we were running a little low on time. The last thing we wanted to do was miss the last bus back to the train station and end up having to take a cab or an uber to the train station. Still we had to stop and have some Butterbeer. I wasn’t sure if I would like it but I did. I had mine in the souvenir cup.

20170404_201656

After our brief stop for Butterbeer we continued on. We saw the Knight Bus which was really cool.

20170404_202254

As was the house where Harry lived with his aunt, uncle and cousin. The living room recreated with a ton of invitations for Harry to attend Hogwarts was one of my favorite things form the second half of The Making of Harry Potter.

SAM_7140

The next section dealt with more of the technical aspects of making the films and all the CGI stuff.

SAM_7160

Driagon Alley was a sight to behold after that.

SAM_7171

A room that had a lot of artist’s renderings of ultimately was filmed for the movies was also very interesting.

SAM_7178

Just when we thought we were done we entered a room that literally made me gasp. It was a scale model of Hogwarts Castle.

SAM_7184

Both my husband and I were in awe of this part of The Making of Harry Potter. We both got a little emotional.

20170404_204636

The very last part of our tour was a room that holds a wand of every person that worked on the Harry Potter films both in front of and behind the cameras.

We both loved The Making of Harry Potter so much that we would go back. Next time we would want earlier entry times so we could take our time, get an audio guide and ask the people working there more questions.

We caught the second to the last shuttle bus back to the train station. Thankfully, our train back into London was a direct one so the trip back went a lot quicker than the trip out of London had earlier in the day. While we were on the train we briefly talked to a nice couple that was also visiting from the United States. They were visiting from Houston and were going to attend the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” the next day. My husband and I had looked into tickets but they were impossible to get. It turns out they had purchased their tickets a year and a half ago before they even knew if they could afford the plane tickets to get to London. We were both a bit jealous. They did give us tips on how to get last minute tickets. Three days later I did use this tip and found two tickets for both parts. Unfortunately, the two tickets were not together and they were very expensive. As much as we wanted see the play we weren’t willing to pay a combined six hundred pounds to do it.

When we got back into London we wished the other couple well on the rest of their trip. We had to get back on the regular tube to get back to our hotel. By the time we got back to our hotel we were both super tired but we were happy because it had been such an amazing day.

If you liked my blog entry please it and like my facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/jeremyogonzales

Follow me on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/jeremyochsgonzales/

My first novel, “Missing Pieces” is available for purchase in Paperback and on the Kindle.

Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s