We made it to London!
It’s my third time in this magnificent city, but my first time unescorted.
Here’s where we stayed:
Safestay at Elephant and Castel
- This Hostel is fantastic! Super clean and very trendy. There are lockers, outlets and lamps for each bed. We stayed in a four bedroom female room and we had our own bathroom.
- Very close to the Tube.
- Semi-Safe area… definitely near some dodgy neighborhoods but just stay aware and you’ll be fine.
- The hostel provided free internet and breakfast
- Don’t forget to adjust your cell phone plan before you head to Europe. I was charge about $500 in international roaming and data fees with in the first 6 hours of being in the UK. Luckily I was able to convince my carrier that I did call them and change my plan (a little white lie) and was able to have the charges reversed. Now when I travel I just leave my phone on airplane Mode and use Skype to call people when ever I can get free wifi.
Because Jenny had never been to London I made sure she did all the stereotypical tourist things. We saw London Bridge, The Tower of London and Big Ben. We also took the Big Red Tour Bus. Which is great for sight seeing and picture taking.
On our second day in London we met Jenny’s local friend. It was a rare sunny day in London so we took the opportunity to rent bikes and ride through Hyde Park.
We stumbled upon this cute little sausage stand in the middle of the park and had a cinematic picnic in the shade of a willow tree.
The most amazing sandwich!
After riding several miles (we got a little lost) we arrived at Kensington Palace! We had great time exploring this historic princess palace and its fun and interactive art and fashion exhibits. But my favorite was the stunning gardens.
Today really tested our travel skills.
- I managed to lead us onto the wrong tube. One witch brought us to the outskirts of London and to the end of the line.
- Once we got to the train station were pointed to the right platform but were unaware there were two different trains at the same station. We got on the wrong train. We only discovered this after our 45 min ride turned into an hour and half.
- The conductor informed us that “You’ve made a costly mistake ladies”. But luckily with some tears from me and Jenny’s American charm we were able to just get kicked off at the next stop free of charge.
- Finally while on the correct train to Watford, Hertfordshire. We realized we had missed our 11AM tour of Harry Potter Studios. When you purchase tickets it clearly states that you MUST BE PRESENT for your ticketed time otherwise you forfeit your purchase. So while I cried Jenny called the park and they were very cordial and said everything would be fine.
- At last we arrived at the illusive Harry Potter Studios!
- When we got through the main entrance line we had our tickets scanned and BEEP. No admittance. They scanned again. BEEP. “Ladies, come with me”. So we were escorted to the help desk. Where we stupidly discovered that our tickets were for…the day before. Some how we had mixed up our itinerary and come on the wrong day.
- Harry Potter Studios is much like Disney World. They don’t like to see unhappy people. especially a crying 24 year old. So with a small charge ($15) they let us use our old tickets and we got in.
- Harry Potter Studios was totally worth all the misadventure. It was magical, informative and memorizing.
Since I had just wrapped my first major TV show job (A Haunting S.6) it was really special to see how a big movie was made. I was especially interested in the props and costumes. I was cool to really see where scenes were filmed and how the stories came to life.