Monday 28th August
We woke up around 8am and spent a bit of time pottering around the apartment. We topped up our travelex card so we had a bit more money for the day ahead and went through our pictures from the day before which made us laugh a lot.
I cooked up some eggs with spinach and baked beans for breakfast. I'd never made eggs in the microwave before and I'm not sure I did it quite right as they were a bit funny.
We called Karen for a chat and then we got up to get ready to hit the road. We both already had quite sore feet because we are soft and never have bare feet at home.
On the way to the train station we stopped at Papa John's pizza and paid £6 for a small pizza and a drink for a late breakfast/early lunch.
We caught the train to Knightsbridge station so we could go to Harrods and have a look around. It was the most amazing shopping centre I had ever seen, they definitely don't have anything quite like that in Australia. The marble detailing, the amazing & varied foods. The Egyptian room, the Christmas section. It was all so awesome. We were cursing ourselves for already having eaten as there was so much cool stuff we could have sampled.
When we went up stairs I looked at a jacket that I thought was cool and it was £4,500. I backed away quickly.
Even the bathrooms where amazing with designer perfumes left on the sink for you to use.
We were only there for about an hour as we had to meet up with our tour company four our making of Harry Potter tour just before 1pm. We headed off to make our way to the meeting point and caught the tube to Victoria station. We found the Evans & Evans Tour office and everyone inside was a bit awkward.
Sitting across from me on the bus was this annoying American lady. She kept huffing & puffing like her life was so hard even though she was on holiday. She spent to whole time we were on the bus on her phone trying to organise some tickets and then when we got there and the wifi got turned off she got all upset and wandered off the bus to find the driver (who was off getting all of our tickets) so she could get the wifi turned back on. We felt like she was the epitome of an annoyingAmerican and wanted to get as far away from her as possible.
Other than that, the bus ride was nice enough, the coach was comfy and as we were getting further out from the city we got to see more of the country side and quaint little English houses. It was interesting to see streets where all of the houses looked exactly the same. The drive probably took about 90 minutes all up.
When we got to the Harry Potter studios we got a coffee but then realised we couldn't take our coffee in so we wandered around the gift shop while we finished them. The gift shop was massive and there were people everywhere. They had some pretty cool stuff but we didn't want to buy anything and then have to carry it around. There were lots of little kids wearing robes or Hogwarts uniforms which was cute.
When we finished our coffee we lined up to get inside. We got hustled into a large square room with a hundred or so people. We were given a short welcome and then hustled into another room that was a cinema. We picked some seats close to the door so we could be near the front. They played a short film where Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson & Rupert Grint talked about the making of the films and how they had worked were we were for 10 years.
The film finished and we were welcomed to come to the front of the room. After a bit more of an introduction they opened the doors and we were in the great hall. Manikins of the Hogwarts teachers stood at the front and there were long wooden tables on either side. It was so big and grand.
It actually made me feel a bit emotional. I read my first Harry Potter book in 1998 just after it had come out so it's been in my life for almost 20 years. It contributed to my love of reading and love of the fantasy genre. It felt surreal to be there and see so many familiar things.
We saw sets, costumes, props, model buildings, paintings, sketches, videos, sections of the forbidden Forrest and Mr Weasley's flying car. We had 4 hours there until our bus was due to take us home so we had plenty of time. It was pretty crowded and there were lots of rude pushy people that would happily bump you if you were in their way. About half way through their was a cafeteria and an area to sit outside in. We needed it by that time as we were both pretty hungry and getting a bit fed up of the crowds. In the second half of the tour there was a huge model of the Hogwarts castle in a dimly lit room. It was incredible, the detail was out of this world. They had actually used the model to do some of the filming and then enhanced it with special effects to make it more realistic. It was just beautiful.
The tour finished as you walked through Diagon Alley and the exit was through Olivanders wand shop. Each wand box had a different member of the cast & crews name on it.
We were back in the gift shop and it was even busier than it was earlier in the day. We still had a bit of time so we wandered around and had a look at everything again. We didn't really want to buy anything and then have to carry it around for the rest of our trip so we just got a fridge magnet and some Berty Botts every flavour jelly beans.
We wandered back to the bus and had to wait a few minutes for everyone to arrive. Of course the annoying American lady was late so we were all had to wait for her.
We tried to have a little snooze on the bus as we were both quite tired. Everyone on the bus was really irritating by this point and by the time we got back to the city we both couldn't wait to get off.
We wanted to go to Brick Lane to get a curry for dinner so we figured out how to get there on the tube and found the nearest underground station. It was almost 9pm by this point and the area we had to go through felt a little dodgy.
When we found the lane (after initially walking past it) there were guys standing out the front of the restaurants trying to coerce you in. The first couple of guys seemed a little desperate so we kept walking. We settled on arestaurant that had a big TripAdviser sign out the front. I don't remember what it was called but it seemed nice enough.
We had a couple of beers and the curry was pretty good. The Onion Bhaji was better then what we'd had at home but I have had better curry elsewhere. All in all it was nice and we were pretty full by the time we left.
It was late and we were tempted to catch an uber home but got back on the tube instead.
We wandered home from Farringdon station and stopped to get some water and ice cream from the Tesco near our apartment as a late night snack.