Today was the day we were to do the Harry Potter Tour. We used Hailo, much like Uber in the US, and ordered a cab last night for 9:00 in the morning. We prepaid by credit card. Our driver, Mark, was there about 20 minutes early, but seemed not to mind that we would not be ready until 9:00AM. He told us that London had more tourism than Paris for the last two years. He thinks that is why the prices are so high here. The strong dollar may have made some difference but it is still very expensive for everything here.
He drove us the 25 or so minutes to Victoria Station and then we walked to the tour operator. We rode a double-decker bus the hour or so to the Warner Brothers studio. They gave us two tickets to get into the tour and a return ticket for the bus. To be honest the only thing that the tour operator did was give us a bus ride. There was no line at the ticket counter, but there was a long line to get in. The place was truly awesome, though, and HUGE. We saw some great sets, including the train station, which was a regulation style train station. We also saw the model of the castle that they used for many of the scenes, particularly the winter scenes. It was really amazing. We saw how they made some of the animals and how they would use a remote control to make them move. I was as interested as Shannon. We went to the Back Lot Cafe, but the line was so long, we did not eat. We just bought some butter beer and some ice cream. The butter beer was just okay and not really what we expected. We are now sitting at a cafe waiting on our bus ride and I am having a Starbuck’s cafe latte. Shannon has not eaten all day and is not hungry. Good grief.
We took the bus back and decided to be dropped on Baker Street in the heart of London. We walked for a little then caught the underground. We decided to get off at the Picadilly Station and walk home. We thought we’d just look at the road signs. We made it back without a single wrong turn. We wanted to unload all the stuff we bought at the Harry Potter souvenir store, so we went to our flat. Shannon stayed while I looked for a grocery store. I found one about a block away and bought some provisions. We should be set for the week. Shannon was excited to get her bottle of coke.
After charging up our devices, we started out again to find a place to eat, which is not hard to do where we are. Every other door is a restaurant of some description. We settled on a pub. Afterwards, we decided to walk a little and we came upon another “happening” square – Leicester Square. Lots of casinos in the area as well as restaurants and theatres and street performers. The street performers were numerous and didn’t seem to mind that there were others. We sat on one of the short walls surrounding the square and just listened and talked. Our sense were bombarded by it all. After a bit, we decided to walk back a different way and ended up at our flat. All in all a fantastic day. While we were in the Warner Brothers studio, it rained for about 10 minutes. We worried, but no need as it was over as quickly as it started. Another beautiful day in London!!! Tomorrow — changing of the guard, etc.