te Where I Walk Tall: To Hogwarts, the Muggle Way

To Hogwarts, the Muggle Way

I woke up early on that Friday morning. I can't remember what time I went to bed. Probably 4 in the morning? I thought when you are in another country (especially one that is miles away from your home city) you just never sleep. 

I hurriedly prepared for my journey to Hogwarts (!!!).  I didn't have an owl, a trunk or a wand with me. I only got the letter  I received from Hogwarts! The digital copy of the ticket I bought online (the day before - while we were in a meeting!) and Google Maps instructions that would take me to the Harry Potter Studio in Leavesden.

It was my free day and I was flying back to Manila the following day. There is so much to see and experience in London but I placed it on top of my list (next to Tower Bridge) because ..  well, I used to go to Hogwarts to study magic! Well, it  was my friend Trishia who told me she wanted to see the Harry Potter studio. The original one in London. Then I thought yes, I felt the need to see the actual place where the Harry Potter movies were shot. 

I was traveling alone. I didn't know if I was excited. Or scared. It was not the first time I traveled alone (or wandered around) a new city. This time was different because I didn't have the time to prepare, research (or even put makeup) before my journey. 

Lizza gave me a tip that I can do the tour quickly for 2 hours or 4 hours if I wanted to stay a bit longer. I allotted 2 hours for my commute from our hotel, Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch. My schedule of the tour is at 11:30 AM. At least I would have enough time just in case something went wrong or I get lost in the city. 

And just like how the forces of universe is with me, and the law of attraction worked again - SOMETHING WENT WRONG!

In my defense, it was my first time to use and follow Google Maps! 
The instruction said that I take CENTRAL line going to West Ruslip. So I took the train. I taught that I would need to get off West Ruslip (but NO!). It said 5 stops, and I needed to get off at Shepherd's Bush! 

I was 4 stations away from Shepherd's Bush and I got off the train and went 4 stations back.

When I finally reached Shepherd's Bush, I transferred to another Line - the SOUTHERN. 

I waited for the train to arrive. I was hoping a flying car being driven by Harry and Ron would arrive to save me. I heard announcements that the train would be delayed. I took the sweet time to ask a random guy to take a picture of me.

Not in Platform 9 3/4s though.

When the train finally arrived, I was just thinking that traffic and train system in United Kingdom is better compared to Philippines. I would still have time to get to my studio schedule.

Trains in United Kingdom are very tourist friendly.
There are outlets, tables and compartments. 

By the time I arrived at my train stop, I was already feeling my bladder.
If you guys know me, I really hate traveling feeling that my bladder would explode any minute. BUT for the first time in my life, I held it and run to the bus station to wait for the bus which would take us to the Warner Bros.

I have so much faith in the transport system when the board indicated the ETA of the bus. 
But something went wrong. Again. 

Our bus didn't arrive. 

This Harry Potter bus arrived though.

But because I was not prepared for this trip and  I didn't get to book a seat.. well, I had to wait for the regular bus. I saw muggles who took the Harry Potter ride. 

A family arrived in the bus waiting area and they too, were going to the Harry Potter studio tour. I wanted to ask them if they could adopt me.

You see, it was such an adventure to get lost in another country (while holding your bladder) and feel the excitement to be in a magical tour. But part of me was wishing I was with my family, or mom, or my friends. It felt so liberating to be able to do this. But at one point I felt alone (wow, I felt like Harry Potter there!). Somehow I felt relieved that I would no longer be alone on this journey. I got a family - complete with mom, dad, kids and granny.

When our bus arrived, I already felt the excitement hitting  at level 10. I thought if they refused to accept me because I was late, I would really cry, kneel and beg them to let me in. I would tell them I traveled long hours just to be at Hogwarts (and I would sue them for not sending Hagrid to fetch me!).

I got to see more of London through the bus ride (and I thought, I was getting better at bladder control).

Finally, I saw Harry from afar. I felt the magic.

My hair was a mess, I didn't have the time to put makeup, to prettify or even plan the trip. I was just to happy to be able to make it in London. 

When the bus driver told us we finally reached the destination, I jumped out of the bus and thought.. it is time to be sorted! 

Enjoy this short clip of my #RuthGoestoHogwarts adventure.

... to be continued.

Harry Potter Studio Tour
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Studio Tour Drive
WD25 7LR

Travel Date: October 2014
Destination: London, United Kingdom

You might also want to read: How I Got My UK Visa in 3 Days

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This blog entry is written by Ruth and published in www.whereiwalktall.com.


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