Monday, January 29, 2018

London! Part 2!

We saw Stonehenge,

the white cliffs of Dover,

and Warner Bros. Studio London!


It was magical! I even flew a broom, Harry Potter-style! Squee!

Here are some pics from our visit! Again, please forgive the surplus of exclamation points. I'm sure you understand because, you know, Harry Potter!! Eeeeee!!

The Great Hall

Harry's cupboard - Oh. Em. Gee.

Outside Dumbledore's office

Inside Dumbledore's office - Sh-hh! The portraits are sleeping!

The clock in the clock tower - It really moves!

Potions in the dungeon

Quidditch, anyone?

Portrait of the fat lady

Jim and the Hogwarts Express - We went inside the train, too!

Privet Drive - We were able to walk through the Dursley's house!

Wizards' chess piece

The Monster Book of Monsters - I think they keep it in a glass case so tourists don't get attacked.

Ollivanders - Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.


Flourish & Blotts

It's such a great tour! We had a blast! When we were eating lunch, I saw a bit of snow falling outside and thought it was snowing. It was actually fake snow, but how fun is it that the first snow I saw in London was Harry Potter snow?! I saw the real stuff a few days later.

Out on the Muggle-filled streets of London, I could see threads of Harry Potter's world--or some of what may have planted seeds for the brilliant J.K. Rowling. Of course, I'm guessing. (I hear she drew oodles of inspiration from Edinburgh.)

Doesn't this building in London remind you of Gringotts?

Look at some of the candy at Fortnum & Mason! It's wizard-worthy!
(Note: Fortnum & Mason was established in 1707! Seriously!)

Heathrow Express/Hogwarts Express?

And hello? Real castles!

Here are some pics of Windsor Castle, which I was so eager to see! It did not disappoint me!

Bath is a beautiful spot, though we were only there for a couple of hours.
While there, we toured Roman baths! Someday I hope to return to Bath to see where Jane Austen lived and to explore some of the places that inspired scenes in her novels. I *heart* Jane Austen!

We visited Canterbury!
My son took this photo. Such a beautiful place!

Canterbury Cathedral

statue of Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales

We also toured Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
I'd love to see one of Shakespeare's plays performed there!

One night, we walked through the rain to see Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre!

It was wonderful! I'd read the novel by Gaston Leroux and seen the movie, but it was incredible to see Phantom of the Opera performed live--and performed by that amazing cast! If it weren't for all the people around us, I'd have lingered in my seat and wept after it ended. It was that moving.

After the show, I thought about story. Story! It's such an important part of what makes us human, and we writers and illustrators--storytellers--try to master it, working, working, working at our craft. (I think it's important to add we're also playing, playing, playing with our craft because so much of the great comes from the play. Yes?)

Think of how story nourishes us and makes life richer. Learning the true stories of England's kings and queens turns seeing their castles and hangouts into meaningful, personal experiences. It's because of the "story" in history! Likewise, in reading and writing fiction, we can find our own connections, our own takeaways, our own truths. Plus, stories--nonfiction and fiction--can be so dang entertaining. Whether it's the true story of a king who had six wives or a pretend story about an eleven-year-old boy who discovers he's a wizard, it's a personal experience, being able to step into their worlds.

Speaking of being able to step into someone's world...I still haven't received my wedding invitation from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I do hope it comes! I want to go back to London!

Your turn: Where was your dream vacation? If you have not yet taken it, where do you think or hope it will be?


Tara said...

Wow, that looks like an amazing trip!

Jemi Fraser said...

I smiled the whole way through this post!!! So many awesome places to visit and things to see and stories to imagine. Thanks so much for sharing!
I'd love to visit London, head up to Scotland to visit some relatives. I'd also love to do a photo safari in Africa and visit Tokyo :)

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Tara! Yes! I loved it!

Hi, Jemi! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! All of your dream vacations sound wonderful! A photo safari in Africa! That would be exciting!

Margaret Nevinski said...

Dawn, I'm so glad you and your family got to do this trip. Thanks for the vicarious travel!

Dawn Simon said...

Thank you, Margaret! I almost posted a pic of my tiny book of Shakespearean plays! :)

DMS said...

Okay- the trip itself looks amazing. But HP! WOW You went on a broomstick? Everything looks so magical and awesome. I want to go. I love that the first snow you saw was HP snow (real or not) that is really special. :)

Love the pictures!

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Jess! Thank you for your comment! Yeah, they let you fly brooms, showing you how they film flight scenes! It was so much fun, and the best part was taking it all in with my husband and my kids! I hope you get to go soon! Let me know! :)