Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 9 - Warner Bros Studios - The Making of Harry Potter

This is an entry that I was most excited to write about!! As some of you may know I'm a Harry Potter freak (yes, at my ripe age, still loving Harry Potter, always), so, being able to see the props that was used in the movie sent me over the moon!

We left our hotel around 7.30 a.m, took a cab (I was travelling with my parents, so they decided that splurging on cabs was a better option than losing their legs from walking too much) to the bus stop to take a bus that will eventually take us straight to the WB studios. We had quite a trouble locating the the exact location of the stop, luckily, the kind hearted cab driver, called WB studios for us, asking them the exact location of the stop, and made sure we got on the right bus. He's so kind I was about to burst into tears.

If you visit London, and decide to give this place a visit (which I highly recommend), I suggest that you do what we did, and purchase a package tour, which includes both the transportation and entrance ticket to the studio. The slight drawback to it is that you can only have a limited amount of time in the studio, because the bus arrives and leaves at a certain time. But being tourists, renting  a car or getting a cab there was way more of a hassle (and not to mention expensive for us. So this was the most affordable and convenient way.


The S Stop on Dorset square, where busses going to the WB studios stop.

If you ever plan on going to WB studios from London, look for this building, the S stop is located right across it.

We pre-purchased the tickets online (you can do so here and get more information of the attraction here), and once the bus arrived, we showed the proof of payment (which was sent to us via email once we've completed the transaction) to the bus conductor, and he gave us the tickets in return.  I could hardly contain my excitement having those tickets in my hands.

Yayyyyyy!! 

The bus ride took quite a while, about 1 and a half hour, since the studio was located far from London. But it was all worth it once we arrived there. We booked the 10 am tour (the first tour was at 9 am), so, when we got there the place was still quite deserted!

Oh hai.
We waited around in the reception area for a little bit, waiting for the tour to start, so we took pictures. The reception area alone was sooooo awesome. I was so excited I almost  wet my pants.

Honeydukes you guyssss!



Oh well, hello. If it isn't the flying ford anglia in the background.
After waiting for about 15 minutes berlegar legar in the waiting area, it was anounced that we can finally line up to get into the studio. The area where we lined up was also awesome. Banyak HP related things along the line.

The Dursleys family potrait.

The bedroom under the stairs.
After waiting for another 10minutes (and jumping up and down in excitement all the while), we finally get to see the Hogwarts main entrance and enter the great hall!!!! I will let the pictures speak for itself from here on.

Piertotum Locomotor! Hogwarts is threatened! Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!
Gryffindor and Slytherin gargoyles
The boys' dormitories
Revolving staircase, a.k.a entrance to the principle's office
Potions class in the dungeon



Diagon Alley!


Weasley's Wizard Wheezes

Hogwarts model

With Hogwarts' architect

The thing with The Making Of Harry Potter is though, once you have exited the exhibition area, you can't re-enter it. So you have to make sure that you were really done with it, that you have had enough of it before you get out. However, we purchased a 2-way bus ticket, our bus would be leaving at 1.30, we had no choice but to be done with it (to make some time for shopping. har har). Once we were done with the first part of the exhibition area, we felt a little bit hungry, so we decided to have some lunch. We had the usual sandwiches and crisps, and washed it down with, to my delight, Butterbeers!

Butterbeer stand!


Yummy butterbeer!

After lunch, on to the next exhibition area we went.



The Riddles' tomb

Choosing my wand - or rather, letting the wand choose me


Hogwarts bridge


After we made sure that we were done with the exhibition spaces, well, we weren't actually done, but we had to get going if we wanted to make time for shopping, we headed straight to the souvenir shop, which of course, sent me to a fresh round of frenzy.

There were so many things I have always wished I had, but I couldn't have, because it is hard to obtain in Malaysia. They sold a wide range of HP merchandise from chocolate frogs, to wands, robes and brooms. It was amazing.

It was so hard for me to decide what I actually wanted to buy, but in the end I settled for the Hallows: The resurrection stone in the form of Gaunt's ring, and the Elder Wand. Would've bought the invisibility cloak too, but they didn't have it. lol. I managed to sneak in time turner and hallow keychain into my mother's cart too. My brother and sister who isn't even a HP fan, bought both bought the Hogwarts robe. I was pretty envious of that. Haish.



Ressurection Stone!

Time Turner!

The Elder Wand

Harry's wand in the form of a pen.

Grindelwald's sign aka The Hallows

Didn't buy this one in UK but, a shout out to my golden snitch necklace! LOL



We spent a loooong time in the souvenir shop. In fact, I advice that if you're planning to buy the same tour package that we did, make sure that you put aside plenty of time for shopping. You really wouldn't want to miss it.

We barely made it to the bus home. hahahaha. The journey back also took about one and a half hour. And although we had crisps and sandwiches, we were absolutely famished by the time we got back to London. So we decided to find a halal Thai restaurant we can have early dinner in (I made sure to google Halal places to eat in London before hand because I have had it with cold sandwiches and crisps). However, because it was only 4 pm, it was still closed. So we decided to just head back to the hotel, and have hot tea to fill our stomach before we can make dinner reservations.

Looking at the list of restaurants I have picked, we decided to call Tuk Din to make a reservation for 5. We hailed 2 cabs, at around 7.30 to get to Tuk Din, and I'm telling you, after a week of sandwiches and the odd cakes and muffins, the first taste of Malay food tasted like a piece of heaven! Everybody went absolutely quiet during the meal, and savored the feast we had before our eyes. It was pure bliss.





After the hearty dinner and a long day, we felt all warm and sleepy, so we decided to call it a day, and head back to the hotel to get some rest, ready for the adventure the next day.

Till the next entry!

XOs

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 8 Disneyland Paris and Heading out to London

So, the 8th day of the trip happened to be on the 14th of November 2012, which was my 26th birthday!!

The day started out with a birthday breakfast, which was just like regular breakfast, only that it was on my birthday (hahahaha).

We had several hours to kill before we had to leave for London, so me and Alya decided to have another go at the Crush Coaster, while the parental dept. and Sufyan went on shopping in the Disney village.

After me and Alya was done with the ride, we joined our parents at the Disney souvenir shop, and I'm telling you, I made it rain in that place. Everything was so cute! I couldn't stop myself from buying the things there.

Some of the things I bought;




I love the "key" keychain, because it says 1313. It matches my car's plate number. :3

After we were done with the shopping, we checked out of the Disney hotel, and headed straight for London. Monsieur Philippe (ke sapa tah nama I letak haritu) drove us to the Gare Du Nord train station because we took the Eurostar train to get London.Now, my fiance has been telling me that Paris was actually very dodgy, and I didn't believe it at the time because, from what I've seen, everything looked peachy and pretty. Turns out that, I have only been spending time in the tourist districts of Paris so everything looked posh and lovely, and my fiance, being an adventurous soul that he is, tah jalan merata-rata kat mana tah. But that day I actually saw the dodgy part of Paris as well.

The whole stretch of road was full of lingerie shops, and sex toys. Probably was the red light district of Paris?

Macam kat the bronx mana tah kan?


Gare Du Nord Station Paris. Last picture I took before kelam kabut.

So then, once we arrived at the train station, everything was a fricking blur. We had 2 hours before departure, and since it was our first time getting on the train, it involved a lot of leg works and asking around. Since we booked the trip online, first, we had to go to the ticket counter to get the actual ticket.
Then, having done that, we had to walk to the immigration. THAT was a hassle as well. 

I have to remind you that we had big ass bags in tow, sebab the parental dept shopping kemain, and unlike air travel, where u can check in your luggage and walk around leisurely with your itsy bitsy handbags, travelling via train, you have to drag your suitcases sampai la you can stow it away in the train compartments. Pengsan.

So we had to clutch on to our tickets and passports, show it to the train people, fill up immigration forms, line up at the immigration line, going up and down the escalator (that's right, not elevators, escalators), dragging 2 big ass suitcases each all the while. At one point, when I was getting on the escalator to go down a floor, one of my suitcases went tumbling down the steps, and I can't do anything but watch as it go down. -_- nasib baik tak ada orang depan tu. So I really have no pictures of this process sebab kelam kabut gila.

Dah sampai London so I thought I should take picture of the baggage situation. nampak?

Nampakkkk?

Hai. Kami keluarga rak reti nak bawa bag sikit2. Nanti lepas London confirm bertambah lagi.

But we made it to the train in one piece, so that was good news. hahaha.

The journey to London took about 2 and a half hours, and it was past noon once we got on the train, so we had lunch there. We bought muffins, and vegetarian pizza for lunch (and the usual potato chips for me), and I continued reading, until we reached London.

Their lunch


My lunch

Lama sgt dalam train, harus lah selfie.

Once we reached London, we hailed a cab to get to our hotel on Great Cumberland Place, literally 1 minute walk from Oxford Street (yay!). We were pretty knackered (amboi, sampai London, terus guna "knackered"). However, the parentals wanted to walk about the Oxford rd, so out we went again. It was nearly dark, and since, we (mostly me) wanted to turn in early, we decided to just get dinner over and done with. 

Shared this room with my sister as usual 


Although it was much easier to find halal food in London compared to Paris, we weren't really up for checking out the restaurants, so, we popped intoSelfridges and went straight for the food court, and just bought whatever vegetarian, soupy things available (it was really freezing outside, so we really wanted to warm ourselves up). It wasn't the best meal we had, but it filled us up.

Muka stress makan tak best. Tak bersyukur betul.

Dinner!

Warm, and tired, we finally headed back to our hotel after a quick trip to Mark and Spencer's food section (to stock up the usual sandwiches and crisps). 

I fell asleep with great anticipation for the next day, because it was the day that I got to visit the Harry Potter World!!

Saving that entry for the next post.

So, that's how I spent my birthday in 2 countries. Had breakfast in Paris, dinner in London. Best. Birthday. Ever! hehehe



Till then lovelies!

XOs

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