17th Birthday // Potterhead forever

Hello world,

Okay, today was my birthday. I turned seventeen, and I‘ve never been less nervous about my birthday because turning a year older was the lamest thing about my birthday this time. We went to the Harry Potter Studios in London.

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After a heavy British breakfast, we took the train from Euston to Westford Junctions. There a shuttle decorated with photos of the series drove us to the studios. The tour began with a video clip. The last shot was of the door in front of the Great Hall – suddenly the screen parted, and the actual door appeared behind it. And guess what: because it was my birthday, I got to open the door with the guide.

The Great Hall is breathtaking. It’s…. well, it’s just like in the movies – duh. For ten minutes I was not able to take pictures because my fingers were trembling so much. There were costumes of Cedric Diggory (ROBERT PATTINSON – AAAAH). And of others, too.

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Let’s just sum the exhibition after that up: It made me love Harry Potter even more and that’s really hard. The details are incredible. In Dumbledore’s office is a telescope, one of the most detailed and expensive props – it’s never seen. The graphic team designed O.W.L. exams, articles, and Quidditch World Cup programs – nobody ever gets to admire their work. Every character has his or her own wand that is deeply inspired by their personality (Slughorn’s has a cauldron in it) – they’re never appreciated.

 

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For lunch I had a butter beer. It was very sweet. We saw the house where James and Lily Potter were killed, Privet Drive 4, and the bridge where Neville epically eliminates a ton of death eaters. The second part of the exhibition included Aragog (Linus freaked), Diagon Alley (uaaaa), and my absolute highlight: Hogwarts.

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Hogwarts exists, guys. It really does, only a lot smaller. Back in 2000 fourty people constructed a model of it. It took them seven months. But the detail is – once again – breathtaking. It is so magical to see it. To actually see it. It’s really big. Although it’s only a model. Once again my fingers were trembling; I am just a sentimental potterhead.

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Heavyhearted we left the studios and drove back to London to Buckingham Palace. We wanted to go join George for his first birthday party but we didn’t get invited – bummer. We do share birthdays, though, and it was a cool feeling knowing the queen, prince Philipp, Charles, Camilla, Kate, William, and Kate were all there.

For dinner we went to an authentic pub called Shepherds Tavern. We walked around London for a bit and finally drove back to the hotel.

Um, it was kind of a good birthday.

Xo
Layla

London at Night // 2k14

Hello world,

aaaah, the first official blog entry: it’s here! And it’s awesome because the place I am right now is awesome. And I am too American for this place. Because I am in London.

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So this early afternoon we took the train from Bern to Basel. That took about an hour, and we practically drove through half of Switzerland.  It’s small – don’t judge. In Basel we checked in, got bored, and finally got to walk to the airplane. I wish I could spend some time on an airport taking pictures of this huge surface areas covered with cement.

We arrived in England, drove from Gatwick to London, and got some stuff at McDonalds, Subway, and KFC. (Everybody in my family has his or her preferences – Jonathan was excited to try a 1400 calories KFC menu for the first time)

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Our hotel is at Euston. My mom and I went King’s Cross after we had checked in at the hotel. Yeah, that King’s Cross where Harry Potter once ran through a wall to platform 9¾. They have a cart sticking out of the wall but there were so many –mostly American – tourists that we didn’t get our picture taken. We did go to the shop, though, and we quickly took the train to Picadilly Circus which was cool.

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So excited for tomorrow.
So excited.
Aaaah.

xo
Layla