I decided to find even MORE Harry Potter-related things in London. So I spent a whole day just walking through the city looking for them.
Generally, London hasn’t been bad. It’s been misty, rainy, cold, dark, and damp, but at least it hadn’t been windy. I was just thinking how awful it would be if there were a subzero wind battering my face as I walked through the streets and thanked the stars for it… Until I went outside and was faced with a bone-chilling maelstrom. Walking across the Tower Bridge over the Thames I was knocked lightly back and forth by a invisible force that threatened to lower my body temperature. But I was determined to see Harry Potter things.
First up was Leadenhall market. Leadenhall Market is a small network of shops nestled inside a larger block of the city, painted red and white and strongly reminiscent of Victorian England. There are some cafés, sandwich places, shoe shiners, pubs, and various other little shops that have been in business much longer than I’ve been alive. The place was decorated for Christmas too, and the holiday cheeriness was palpable. Sometimes you just gotta soak up your surroundings and it can totally change how you feel.
The market was used in some shots for Diagon Alley in the first Harry Potter movie.
The blue store was used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in the Philosopher’s Stone. It’s actually just an optician’s store.
Next was the Australian High Commission, which was used as Gringott’s Bank. I wasn’t allowed inside, so I took a picture through the glass door and you can at least see the floors through the glare. Sorry about that!
After that, I was hungry so I got a burrito from this place called “Wrap It Up” (hah). I ordered a Mexican Burrito and the woman behind the counter asked me if I wanted chili sauce. Yes, of course I want chili sauce. Anything to make the food here taste like something, right?
“Hot, or mild?”
“Are you sure? It’s very painfully spicy.”
It was about the hotness of regular hot sauce from Taco Bell. It was pretty good, though! And I got a drink for free, so I they gave me this lychee soda which was fantastic.
I think I can taste something!
I want to have access to exotic fruit always!
The British museum was on the way to my next destination, so I went there for a few hours. I’ll make a different post to cover the museum. Afterwards, I went to the Piccadilly Circus, which is where the gang nearly gets taken out by a bus in the Deathly Hallows.
There was a really talented beat-boxer there, even.
Hopefully when I read about my experiences in London when I’m older, I don’t judge myself too hard for not doing actual things in London. I mean, when you’re on a budget, it’s not like floofing all over the place is viable when the exchange rate is 1.5 USD to 1 British pound. Blech! Nonetheless, if you keep a positive attitude and find something to do with your time, you can enjoy yourself even with limited resources!
That’ll be one of the lessons I take home with me. Sometimes you just let life get you down. Work and school and car trouble etc will get you down, but remember that everything passes and that you have power to shape negative experiences into lessons. Bad things will happen, yes. There are some things you can’t put a positive spin on. But there is always tomorrow and new opportunities to stick it to the universe, laugh at it in its unfathomably large face, and scream, “Look! You can’t take this experience from me!”