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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Day 3 & 4 & 5 - London

Day 3 - 29th April 2017
Another day to explore London! Our first stop is London Bridge Underground.

We didn't head towards the bridge but instead headed straight to breakfast at Borough Market!

They sell so many types of food so MeiChi and I decided to share our food so that we can feed ourselves with more varieties! We managed to share a pie from Pieminister, Boston sausages and Scotch Eggs! 

It was a really cold morning so we decided to sit down and have a cup of hot drink each! Also managed to buy some really sweet and fresh strawberries to enjoy!

With our full tummy, we were about to leave Borough Market when we spotted a long queue in one of the shop. We had a peek and oh my! They were selling fresh oysters! I'm not really an oyster fan, but MeiChi is, and she said that it was very cheap compared to Malaysia. After some thinking, we decided to join the queue and grabbed 4 medium oysters for £5.50 to share.

The oysters were opened on the spot and I went heads over heels in love with fresh oysters after my first taste! I told MeiChi we should come back to Borough Market for more oysters before we leave London! I'm now a bigger fan of fresh oyster than MeiChi! LOL  

We left Borough Market after that from another exit, and were greeted by a beautiful interjunction which reminds me of Gringotts Bank from Harry Potter. Sorry for the nerd talk.

Along the way, we also spotted the 95-storey skyscraper, The Shard, which is also the tallest building in UK. Quite a sight to behold after seeing so many old British buildings!

Also spotted the Dragon boundary mark, which is cast iron dragon that marks the City of London boundaries!

On the way to our next destination, we saw really beautiful flowers along random pathways. We stopped to take photos while others stopped and looked at us crazy tourists! LOL

We went over to St Paul's Cathedral, the famous church where Princess Diana married Prince Charles. The church was so huge, we felt so small standing next to it. We had difficulty taking photos as well as we couldn't fit the building into our camera frames! We didn't enter though as the entrance fees were £18. #PoorTourists 

Then we decided that we should head to Tate Modern. Not because we are museum fans, but we wanted to visit the free viewing platform to have the view of London.

We walked along the Millennium Bridge and admired the view of the river banks. 

Upon reaching Tate Modern, we headed straight to the 10th floor viewing platform for the 360-degrees view.
Can you spot Millennium Bridge in this photo?
St Paul's Cathedral in view
Panaroma View
The Shard in view
A funny thing about this viewing platform is that it was built very close to residential buildings, and these residential buildings have see thru glass walls. Total privacy invasion, which apparently created a lot of lawsuits to Tate Modern! =.='' I didn't take any photo as there were warning signs all around to ask us to respect the residents' privacy. 

We then decided to tick off Buckingham Palace. We stopped at the Green Park Underground and had to walk across the large Green Park. At that time, our legs were almost giving up! Luckily the sky began to clear and we finally had some blues to cheer us up! 

After that we wanted to visit Tower Bridge but somehow we ended up at the exit of Knightsbridge Underground. I think we were so tired and misread the exit for Tower Bridge in our research.

Turns out Knightsbridge is a great shopping street! With many shopping brands and we spotted the famous Harrods nearby! So we went inside for a visit! 

It was so packed inside, especially the food area!! Not sure it was because of the long weekend, or it is packed everyday. We just had a look around and then headed off.

We had dinner in Leicester Square as our itinerary for the night is Broadway! MeiChi decided to watch The Lion King Musical (I've watched it before in Singapore), so I decided to watch The Book of Mormon!

So MeiChi and I split after dinner to our own theaters.

The Book of Mormon show was located at The Prince of Wales Theater. After I went through security check and picked up my tickets at the counter, I settled in awe at my seats for the next 2.5 hours!
£40 - Stall Seat
View from my seat

After the show, MeiChi and I met up at a predetermined spot in Leicester Square Underground before we headed back home.

Day 4 - 30th April 2017
A new day, a new market! LOL We started our day with a trip to Brick Lane Market. We stopped at Aldgate East Station. Along the way, we spotted many graffiti arts. 

We noticed that the famous thing in Brick Lane is their curry. Most of the shops / cafes / restaurants are selling curries. 

Suddenly at one corner, we spotted a building and inside were stalls selling all kinds of food. Many familiar Asian food is available.  

We had our breakfast here, but none of the food above as they are too familiar to us. LOL 

And then at the lower ground, there are fashion stalls. And they sell all types of clothes, from leather jackets, to 60's clothes, to military uniforms. There's also a dedicated corner where there were lots of vinyl records for sale. A very cool place if you're into vintage and retro.

We walked further and then we spotted an alley which has another market - Backyard Market.

This time this market sells more modern artistic homemade stuff like bags, clothes, accessories, home decos, etc. I particularly liked this chess set of London City! So pretty!

We continued our way and spotted another food market, but I don't know what was the name. But most importantly, they have fresh oysters!!! After falling in love with oysters yesterday, I HAD TO EAT AGAIN TODAY when I saw them! So we ordered 6 oysters this time for £7.

After that we continued our journey and after some time, we spotted a flea market (or maybe Sunday market, as it was a Sunday). It was really packed and crowded, but happening as well!

We walked until the end of the market, and then started to look for the nearest Underground to get us to our next destination. Spotted an advertisement along the way and realised that we were in Banglatown! LOL

I remember us walking for quite awhile before we found the Underground Station.

Our next spot is Tower or London. There were some events on that day, thus you see all the canvas canopies on the ground. 

We decided to enjoy ourselves with some Ben & Jerry's ice-creams!

We walked passed the Tower of London and enjoyed the river view. Here we can see The Shard again and other modern buildings.

And of course, the ever beautiful Tower Bridge!

We walked across Tower Bridge.

And this is the view from Tower Bridge.

And we decided to go UP the Tower Bridge for £9.80 per person.

There's also a glass floor at the Tower Bridge. 

Then we rushed our way to Euston Railway Station to hopped on a train to Watford Junction - which was the exit to Warner Bros Studio Tour for The Making of Harry Potter!
It always felt good to visit Harry Potter for us Potterheads. The feeling of a Muggle entering a secret world full of magic! So please pardon some Harry Potter jargons used! Haha  
It's so cool that we started our journey by entering through the door of THE GREAT HALL
No hanging candles in the Great Hall?
All of the items are real props or costumes used for the filming of Harry Potter films.
Professor's table and actual clothes wore by actors in the film
The Marble Staircase and portraits in Hogwarts! But no, they dont move without CGI technology
Tunnel that links Hog's Head to the Room of Requirement. It looks very deep but it's actually only two feet deep!
Snape's dungeon and his potions. Should I steal some ingredients to make a Polyjuice Potion?
Mirror of Erised - I show not your face but your heart's desire.
Enemies of the heir, beware! - Chamber of Secrets
Entrance to Dumbledore's office! Sherbet Lemon?
Dumbledore's office
Dumbledore's memories and pensieve. Any wise words / lessons inside for me?
Elixir of life - Philosopher's Stone was just right in front of me!
The newest attraction - The Forbidden Forest
Hello BuckBeak the Hippogriff
"Spiders! Why can't we follow the butterflies?" - Ron Weasley. Hello Aragog and family!
Sirius Black....is not very black! LOL
Darker side of Harry Potter - Ministry of Magic, etc
Magic is Might Statue, which is evil but so nice la! 
Meeting at Malfoy's Manor. Vold....oops! I mean You-Know-Who & Nagini killing the Muggle Studies professor

Another new session that was different from my first visit in 2014 - King's Cross Station and Hogwarts Express! If I knew they had it here, wouldn't have queued so long in Day 1!
Platform 9 3/4
Excuse me! Making my way to Hogwarts!
The real Hogwarts Express used in all 8 films. Toot Toot!
Each year, they use a different compartment to film 
Real sweets and chocolates for sale. Chocolate Frog? Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans?
Random stuff like Rita Skeeter's The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, Marauder's Map, Toys from Zonko's and Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes, Newspaper clippings, and many more!
Of course, a trip to Harry Potter is never complete without Butterbeer. I love the Butterbeer more compared to the one in USA as you can really taste the rich butter in London. 
Then we stepped outdoor and almost froze to death. The wind was sooooooo cold! But we still hanged on for a few photos!
Potter's House in Godric's Hollow
Number 4, Privet Drivet
One of my favourite set, the flying letters in Dursley's living room!
Life-size Wooden Bridge of Hogwarts
Yeaps, it's meant to be crooked
Spot the Knight Bus behind
King to E4! Life-size chess pieces
Diagon Alley! Although it's no longer that impressive if one has seen the functioning ones in Universal Studios!
Diagon Alley
The first time I was here, there seems to be a very big building featuring the drawings, sketches and the making of magical creatures like Dobby the house-elf, Aragog, Grawp the Giant, etc. Now all of that was removed and just a small portion of it was left. Still very mindblown to see the miniatures created.
Miniature Hogsmeade
The Burrows - Home of the Weasleys
The Prefects' Bathroom Taps
The miniature Hogwarts

And the last room which was still fascinating to me! The real Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!

Look at the details of this castle. CRAZY!! I never knew the castle was just a model. I always thought they filmed the movie from parts of real castles, until I visited Warner Bros Studios in 2014. 

Cannot resist and must take a photo with the castle AGAIN! Haha

After this, we headed straight back home. It was another long day!

Day 5 - 1st May 2017
Finally a day where we have nothing much to do. So we started our day late. Slept till late morning and it felt so good! LOL

Every night we go home, we always passed by Stratford, and we noticed that they have lots of shopping brands and malls. So we decided to spend our afternoon shopping there. We entered the nearest and first mall we saw, Westfield, and ended up spending our whole day there. Thanks to a brand, Primark. 

In the evening, I headed off to another Broadway show, this time for Aladdin The Musical in Prince Edward Theater. 

Just like the last round, I had my bag checked and collected my tickets from the counter. I managed to book the box seat for £19.75, quite a good bargain! 
From this seat, I managed to have a good look at the full crowd! So awesome to be with a bunch of broadway lovers! Haha
Here's my view of the stage from my seat. Not bad right?

The show was great! Many big numbers and grand props! Two thumbs up for Genie's performance! I'm sure he's breathless every night after delivering all those fast and long lines. And my new favourite song is 'Proud of Your Boy'!

Anyway along the way to the show, I happened to passed by the beautiful Palace Theater which is now playing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. So when I met up with MeiChi again in Leicester Square Underground after the show, we headed back to Palace Theater to take some photos!
Then we headed home with our sore feet!

*****to be continued.....

Read all about :
Day 1 & 2 in London - here.
Day 3,4 & 5 in London - here.
Day 6 in Antwerp - here.
Day 7 in Brussels - here.
Day 8 in Bruges - here.
Day 8 in Ghent - here.
Day 9 &10 in London - here.

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