Monday, June 6
Jake had been not-so-subtly hinting about how great it would be to get a haircut in London the day before, so our first stop on Monday was Ted's Grooming Room - a fancy barber shop right near Waterloo bridge and our hotel. The decor of the shop was great fun - gray, black, and red, with flashes of chrome and neon. I didn't catch the barber's name, but here he is before the haircut:
This haircut took forever. I've never seen such a thorough hair stylist. I had lots of time to play around with photos, and love the way this one turned out:
*pic of Jake in the barber chair with his reflection in the mirror facing the camera:
And here they are after! This photo is weird - I didn't have my camera on the proper setting. But oh, well.
I think it was a fun experience for Jake, and the haircut is perfect. Afterwards, we grabbed some coffee and walked to Trafalgar Square, where we bought tickets for a hop on hop off bus. Some folks might thing that's a cheesy way to sightsee, but for us it made sense to do a loop on the bus, get our bearings for where things are beyond our immediate area, and make a plan for the next days' agenda.
Plus, while you're on the bus, if you're lucky like we were, you get great live commentary by an entertaining guide. And you have the vantage point to take lots of photos of the city like the following shots.
*Big Ben: (The bell is actually called Big Ben and the tower is now called The Elizabeth Tower) :
*The Eye from the other side of the river:
*This statue of a lion near Westminster bridge on the way into the oldest part of London:
*Pic of waterloo hospital for women and children:
*The eye again - this time with The Elizabeth Tower / Big Ben in the background:
I love the mix of old and new in this city, as well as the art and quirkiness:
*photo of a large cartoon drawing on the side of a modern building:
*The Thames with boats aplenty:
The architecture of the buildings is so intricately detailed:
This statue of Mary, Queen of Scots sits in the second or third floor of this building.:
The tall monument in the background is a memorial for the Great Fire in London that burned down most of the city in 1666. It was a horrible time for London, because just the year before, a rapidly spreading Bubonic Plague wiped out thousands of people.
We hopped off the bus at Trafalgar square and went on a guided Harry Potter walking tour where we saw some of the locations for scenes from the movie as well as other fun Harry Potter related sights. Of course, I took some photos along that way, some of which have nothing to do with Harry Potter.
*The National Gallery:
I love this statue of Shakespeare in Leicester Square, which is where many London movie premieres are held. The inscription on the bottom of the statue reads:
THIS ENCLOSURE/ WAS PURCHASED, LAID OUT/ AND DECORATED AS A GARDEN/ BY ALBERT GRANT ESQ[UI]RE M.P./ AND/ CONVEYED BY HIM ON THE 2ND JULY 1874/ TO THE/ METROPOLITAN BOARD OF WORKS/ TO BE PRESERVED FOR EVER/ FOR THE FREE USE AND ENJOYMENT/ OF THE PUBLIC
I especially love the juxtaposition of a TGI Friday's in the background:
This IMAX theater is where the Harry Potter movies would have premiered. Our guide showed us photos of the premiere of the last HP movie, where the movie actors gathered in Trafalgar square because of the size of the crowd wanting to catch a glimpse. They walked to Leicester Square for the screening:
Along our walk, I took photos of the interesting architecture and theatre buildings:
This is the location for the new Harry Potter play - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It opens next month and tickets are booked until 2018:
This is the entrance way into the inspiration for Diagon Alley. JK Rowling apparently brought the film's creators to this alleyway to show them how she envisioned it. I love that the shop outside the alley is called Patisserie Valerie:
Photos of the inside of the alley:
Here is the Duke of York's Theatre where Kit Harrington is starring in a modern version of Doctor Faustus. Jake and I are going to this show tonight (insert fangirl squeal here)
These buildings were used to film the Ministry of Magic scenes in the Harry Potter movies:
This is a cute little pub called the Sherlock Holmes, where Jake and I had an early dinner after the walking tour:
We went back to the hotel to freshen up, and went to see Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre. Here we are before the show:
I, of course, couldn't take photos during the show, but it was fantastic. So very well done - we both truly enjoyed it. Tonight's Doctor Faustus show won't be as much fun - it's a dark and gory tale, but hey - Kit Harrington, right?