I know what you all are thinking…London AGAIN? OTRA VEZ? My response: I will NEVER say no to going to London and/or the UK ever. Each time I have gone it has been so different from the one before! Plus, my two great adventuring friends, Katie and Kym, came to visit so we just HAD to go to London for one reason and one reason only:
Harry Potter Studio Tour…but before I get into that I have some sad news to report.
I don’t know how many of you know my dreams of becoming a Beefeater at the Tower of London (no that doesn’t literally mean I want to eat beef…). They are the AMAZING tour guides who live in the Tower of London. So how did they get the name of “beefeaters?” Well friends, sit down for this History lesson: Back during the medieval times, King Henry VII decided to create a group of guards called the Yeomen Warders to protect the Tower (which during that time was where the royalty lived). During some other King Henry’s rule (most likely the 8th’s…let’s be real he was a little cray cray), these guards were not feed properly. It wasn’t until later that a new king came in and gave the guards the right to as much meat as they wanted from “the king’s table” AKA you can have 20 ounces a day. Then this Count from Italy came in and of course made a comment of how these guards ate a lot of beef. Entonces, the nickname of Beefeater was created.
But I digress…this is the one tour that I have repeated EVERY time I have gone to London, and each time it is still as great as the last. However, this tour took a turn for the worst…no, no our guide was still amazing, passionate, and knowledgeable as ever. Our guide only explained how one becomes a Beefeater. At this point, my attention was completely focused on him, I was literally hanging on every word he said, I could honestly see my future dreams of being a Beefeater and LIVING in the Tower coming true as he spoke. AND THEN HE KILLED AND STOMPED ON MY DREAMS as he spoke these words very similar to this:
A. You need to have served in the British military for at least 22 years.
subpoint A: to be in the British military you need to be a British citizen. TWO POINTS AGAINST ME.
B. During your time in the military you need to granted at least Warrant Officer status.
subpoint B: I have no clue what that means, but let’s be real, I’m not cut out to be in the military unless it involves assisting Prince Harry.
C. You have to be awarded a metal of good conduct.
subpoint C: This one I could easily receive if I were to assist Prince Harry, but I can’t unless I am in the military, which is impossible because I don’t have British citizenship and the only way I can get that is if I work in England for more the 6 years, and that doesn’t seem to be happening ANY time soon.
So let’s calculate this: 6 years to be able to apply for my British citizenship+ 22 years of assisting Prince Harry = Amy being at least 52 before I could EVEN be considered for the role of Beefeater. Well, I can still dream.
Once I had recovered from my traumatizing experience at the Tower of London, and a few Strongbow Blacks in my system, I was ready to trudge on through this dark and evil dream crushing world to THE HARRY POTTER STUDIO TOUR: AKA THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH!
Basically this tour is exactly what it is: a tour of the Warner Brother’s studio outside of London that houses literally EVERYTHING from all 8 HP movies. You get to walk around and learn about how the movies were created in the studios, as well as see all the important rooms such as Dumbledore’s Office, the Great Hall, the Gryffindor Common Room and Privet Drive #4! To say it was awesome is an understatement. What made it even better is we made friends with one of the workers George, who is a fellow hard core fan, and he ended up giving us our own personal tour! Literally the whole studio is there for you to look at things, you even get the chance to ride a broomstick! Plus there are plenty of photo ops, such as being on the cover of the Quibbler.
Also along the lines of Harry Potter, I made another visit to Platform 9 3/4. Now that it has become more popular, Warner Brother’s has set up a store and there are even people who will take your photo for you!
Once we had gotten our fill of Harry Potter (let’s be real, I can never have enough of Harry Potter), we headed out on another adventure to the English countryside. We did an all day tour to three different cities: Bath, Salisbury, and Stonehenge. I have been to Bath about three times now, so I will focus on the other two.
Salisbury is a small town located 85 miles outside of London. The area’s original name is Old Sarum where the original cathedral was located on a hill outside of the current town. It wasn’t until it was decided that the town should expand into the valley that the current cathedral was built. It is said that the new location of the building was chosen when an arrow was shot and hit a deer, and the location was where the deer died at.
Like I mentioned before the cathedral here houses ONE of the original FOUR copies of the Magna Carta. What’s the Magna Carta, you ask? WELL, it is the 1st document signed by a King that limited HIS powers and gave the nobility more power. SAY WHAT? Yes, in 1215 the King of England at the time, was forced to sign this document to limit his powers and protect the rights of the king’s people. Where was this when Henry the VIII was beheading everyone? Oh wait, by the time he came into power, the Magna Carta had been slowly been repealed by earlier kings. Anyways back to 1215, after King John signed this, he went running to tattle on his people to the POPE. And after King John threw many temper tantrums, Pope Innocent III annulled the Magna Carta. Although King John still had all the power, his nobles continued to rebel against him and fight for the rights in the Magna Carta. It wasn’t until the death of King John in 1216 that the Magna Carta was brought back and used.
Sadly, I couldn’t take pictures of the Magna Carta, BUT I did purchase a poster of the Magna Carta and a book that explains every clause of it. Oh man are we going to have fun!
The last stop on our tour was the one place I have been dying to see: STONEHENGE.
Historians aren’t very sure why this monument was built. Radiocarbon dating traces these rocks all the way back to 2400-2500 B.C. some other theories place these rocks to 3000 B.C. It is known that this site was used for religious reasons for the Druid people. The evidence of this lies in the many burial mounds that are around the site. It is believed that the people carried these rocks in pilgrimage to this site. It would have taken at least 300 men to carry ONE rock. Fun fact: the surrounding environment of this area is this…
Although I was EXHUASTED by the end of this trip, it was still a great time. As always I was able to experience new places and fall in love again with London and England. I have so many special memories in this country and it was soooo great for my friends to truly experience London! Hasta Luego!