Sunday, October 4, 2015

London trip 2015: Day Four 24 June Part I

This was a long day, but a wonderful day.

Heather and I decided first to go the Sherlock Holmes Museum (there is a link included there).  It's about thirty US dollars for admission; I don't know that it's worth the price, but it was fun.  I believe they were in the process of office renovations in the building next door, but admission tickets are purchased in the gift shop.  There's a bobbie (policeman) standing outside the door of 221B Baker Street ready for a photo op and to take admission tickets.  Because of the size of the "museum," only so many people are allowed in at one time.

The museum is actually something like a townhouse dressed up as an Edwardian flat (English-speak for apartment) as described in the Arthur Conan Doyle stories with mannequins dispersed throughout depicting different characters from the stories.

Kind of bizarre.

There were a few references to the popular BBC show that portrays a modern-day Sherlock starring, of course, Benedict Cumberbatch (now off the market unfortunately) and Martin Freeman.  It was a fantastic show until Steven Moffat also took over Doctor Who and got too full of himself or something.  Now it's too bogged down in its own cleverness.  (But that's just an opinion.)

The townhouse was narrow and womb-like, and at the top of one of the staircases was this sight:

This mannequin represented one of the street urchins Sherlock Holmes employs to gain information.  (I forget what he calls this network in the stories.)  Thankfully this was at the beginning of a long day, so this creepy horror didn't haunt my dreams.

After our tour through the museum, Heather and I had some time to kill before we met up with the tour group in Leicester ("lest-er") Square, so we decided on a jaunt through Regents Park.  In Regents Park, which is very large, is the Queen Mary's Gardens.  I don't know if they have different flowers throughout the year, but we discovered rose bed upon rose bed and as it was the end of June, they wer in full, glorious bloom.  (I got the impression people tired of the photos I have from the gardens, especially when one person suggested we didn't do anything, so you may view my Facebook page for all the pictures to view as you please, but it was like I'd walked into a room of Heaven.)  Regents Park won my heart; I now count it as one of my favourite places in the entire world.

We took the tube to Leicester and were bumming around the Square near the TKTS booth (me trying to find even a hint of shade, Heather seeking out the blazing sunshine, though she wouldn't have called it "blazing" -- she and I have very different views on the weather) looking out for the tour group.  We weren't sure if there would be a sign or what when suddenly this deep, rich Scottish voice that caused every hormone in my body to stand to attention said, "Harry Potter walking tour."  And there is this gorgeous, beautiful man in a tight-fitted navy blue t-shirt, with short, dark brown wavy hair, who'd walked right out of the pages of a sweeping romance novel.  Oh my word, he was "my lady-in-waiting better hold on tight to the key of my chastity belt" handsome.  Heather was even lucky enough to be rescued by him at one point -- he literally noticed her in distress, broke through a crowd and came to her rescue, his t-shirt straining to hold its form over his chiseled physique.

Ahem.  Where was I?  Right.  Harry what's his face.

So, the walking tour is put on by a company called Best Tours and for about two and a half hours, you get an on foot tour of London while learning about some of the London locations associated with Harry Potter, both the books and the movie.  It begins at a bookshop where one may purchase a first edition signed by the author, J K Rowling -- for only 2,000 GBP (which would be about 3600 US dollars), goes past several places that were used for on location shots (like a place just outside Old Scotland Yard used for several shots outside the Ministry of Magic), a few places used for inspiration (e.g. Clink Street, on which Rowling based Knockturn Alley), the school that Daniel Radcliffe attended for a year or two, and ends at Kings Cross Station a place significant for where Platform 9 3/4 is housed, and...where a significant scene takes place in The Deathly Hollows.  The tour was like a pep rally of sorts for Heather and I, a great run up to our tour for the next day at the Harry Potter sets tour!  The Harry Potter walking tour through London received great reviews on, and it earns every one of those stars.  They other London walking tours to choose from; I understand the Jack the Ripper walking tour is also very popular.  And if you're fortunate you get Scottish John as your guide.

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