Sunday, February 10, 2013

Touring the Sights of London

This weekend was a busy one. Christa and I opted to go around London and see all those sights that just happen to be around. I mean, some attractions, like museums and palaces you visit and tour and learn, and then there are attractions that are simply meant to be seen. Like, say, for example...

See this? This is a screen shot from the BBC's SHERLOCK. This is 221B Baker Street, where Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson live. In reality, it's actually 187 North Gower Street since the real-world Baker Street bears too much heavy traffic and has too many hings labelled "Sherlock Holmes" that would need to be disguised.

This is me at 187 North Gower Street. It's literally around the corner from the train station so super easy to find. Surprisingly easy to find. And at some point in March, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will be back there (well, sometimes there, but the show's filmed mostly in Cardiff, Wales) filming the very, very long awaited third season. And I was there. *geeks out!* We also went to wander the actual Baker Street, but, alas, there wasn't much there worth photographing.

In the BBC series DOCTOR WHO, the show's titular character, the Doctor, travels all of space and time in his TARDIS, a space ship of sorts that takes the form of a 1960s police box. Why you ask? Well, to quote the Doctor,
It's camouflage. It's disguised as a police telephone box from 1963. Every time the TARDIS materializes in a new location, within the first nanosecond of landing, it analyzes its surroundings, calculates a 12-dimensional data map of everything within a 1000-mile radius, and determines which outer shell would blend in best with the environment. ...And then it disguises itself as a police telephone box from 1963.
Like the Batmobile, the Serenity, the Enterprise, the Metallicar, or the General Lee, the TARDIS is an iconic vehicle, a stable of both the show and the Doctor, and practically a character in its own right.

This is me and the TARDIS. It's outside Earl's Court tube station. It's a little splatter and has a plaque where it's instructions are meant to be...but, dudes, it's the TARDIS. I'm willing to forgive a few minor details being off.

In the Harry Potter books and films, young witches and wizards catch the Hogwarts Express train from King's Cross Station at Platform 9¾. Basically, the run though a pillar between platforms 9 and 10 and are magically transported through to where the train to Hogwarts waits. Given the popularity of these books, it's small wonder that the real-life King's Cross actually has a Platform 9¾. According to Wikipedia,
When the first film was released, a large floor panel was placed on the ground outside platforms 9 and 10 indicating the Hogwarts Express. It was later removed. Within King's Cross, a cast-iron "Platform 9¾" sign was erected on the wall of the suburban station building containing the real platforms 9 and 10. Part of a luggage trolley was installed below the sign: the near end was visible, but the rest of the trolley has disappeared into the wall. It is common to see Harry Potter fans stop to photograph the trolley or try to push the trolley through the wall to the hidden platform. Due to problems with crowd numbers and renovation work within the station, the half trolley was moved to an exterior wall on Euston Road, and in 2012 to the western departures concourse.
So, of course, I went to King's Cross.

They actually have two attendants manning it - one for crowd control, one to take photographs - and a selection of scarves, one for each of the houses, for visitors to try on for their photo op. I went with Gryffindor, despite the fact that Ravenclaw's colours would've matched my outfit better.

Afterwards, we returned to Christa's place where we had pizza (of the take-out variety) and then headed out again to catch Warm Bodies at a movie theatre over in West Croyden.

Next day we checked out Tower Bridge and the Tower of London (where we each bought a year's membership to the palaces) but it so cold and rainy that we only did the highlights of the Tower before calling it a day. 

GPS is void again this week - half term break is coming up on the eighteenth - so fingers crossed there'll be work for me! Until next time, peeps!

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