Wizards and Wicked Witches

29 July 2013

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Today was a splendid Monday. It began from the moment I woke from my drowsy sleep and realized what was planned for the day. I walked the streets of London following in the footsteps of Harry Potter and his wizard friends on a self-guided tour of all the famous sights present in the novel and film, and ended the evening with a fantastic viewing of the West End production of Wicked.

At 6:30 this morning Kailey and I awoke to wait in line outside the Victoria Theater for front row tickets and at 10:05am we left with them in our hands. We were issued seats 28 and 29–right in the front middle of the stage! The show was incredible. I was able to see every facial expression of the actors and watch the director conduct the symphony in the pit right below my feet. The bar was set so high–I have doubts about whether I will ever experience a theatrical production of that caliber again. The performers were so close. Their direct eye contact made me feel like I was a part of the play and the vibrations of their bodies as they sang was memorizing. Wicked is a story that is precursor to the Wizard of Oz. It is the story about the life of the Wicked Witch of the West–about how she is not as wicked as one may think. The production was astounding. Its bright colors, beautiful settings, and fanatical performers did not flounder on their quest to amazement.

If you would like a PDF copy of the self guided Harry Potter tour I journeyed through today in London, just message me and I would be glad to share it.

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Flicker Alley was the inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s Diagon Alley.

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This candy shop actually carries chocolate covered frogs, Bernie Bot’s every flavored beans, and licorice wands…

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In the Deathly Hollows, Harry, Hermione, and Ron apparate to this location, escaping the Death Eaters at Bill and Fleur’s wedding.

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After they apparate, they walk a little ways and upon reaching this covered alley–Hermione remembers that they haven’t had the chance to celebrate Harry’s birthday.

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This is the entrance to the Ministry of Magic…

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The location in the Deathly Hollows where Harry, Hermione, and Ron take Polyjuice potion–to sneak into the ministry to obtain Dolores Umbridge’s locket.

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Walking across Westminster Bridge presented a beautiful view of British Parliament Building and the Eye of London. I even captured the end of a double decker bus zooming across the bridge in front of the London Eye.

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The official Gringotts Bank, a.k.a the Australian Bank in London.

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Several of the bridges in London were used as location for the death eaters to fly in and attack the city. We walked 5 of the 7 main bridges in London, this one ahead is Southwark Bridge.

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The Death Eaters fly down around either side of the dome of the famous Saint Paul’s Cathedral and proceed to destroy the bridge and attack the Muggles in its path.

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The film location for the Diagon Alley–my favorite place in the world of Harry Potter.

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The leaky Cauldron…quite funny as it is a modern optometrist office.

We were able to see many, many more locations important to both historical London, and the Harry Potter world than what I have shared. We spent the entire day experiencing the life of a wizard and diving into what life would be like in the magical world of London. To end our tour we visited the alley that gave Charles Dickens the inspiration for ‘The Christmas Carol’, one of my favorite novels of all time. Unfortunately my camera battery died seconds before our arrival in the alley. Ebeneezer Scrooge’s office was set in this alley, and as I stood there I could feel the spirit of Dickens coming alive–filling the alley with his stories. It was a feeling I will never forget.

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