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Our Travel Adventures

Welcome to the Adventures of Larry and Connie Farquhar.

Week 8 (Final Week) - 2023 "Lands" Epic Adventure - Part Two

Week-8-193 Harry Potter Movie Tour - Hogwarts Model

London, England

Lee Valley Camping and Caravan Park

October 2, 2023 - We made a straight drive today for 4+ hours. Our only stop was for a few groceries and lunch. We arrived back at the Lee Valley Camping and Caravan Park in London, which is where we spent our first night. £30 ($38 USD) per night, included showers, electricity, and Wi-Fi. We even got the same pitch as we had before. We'll be here for the next 3 nights. Not much else was done today, except cleaning up and doing some computer work. We'll be back in tourist mode tomorrow for a couple days. 

Harry Potter Tour Map
October 3, 2023 - After picking up our campervan 6 weeks ago and when we were leaving London, we saw a sign for the Warner Brothers movie studio along the motorway. They were advertising the Harry Potter Tour. We enjoy the Harry Potter movie series and did a little research into the tours. With some luck, I was able to get the last two tour tickets for the next few months. It took a few tries, as it would show nothing available, but checking back every 10 - 15 minutes, a few tickets all of a sudden be available. Our tickets were for late this afternoon for the 3½ hour tour.

This was the actual movie lot where the Harry Potter movie series were filmed. The tour was more like a combination museum and behind the scenes tour. It took us over 3-hours to do the self-paced tour. We saw over a dozen of the various sets used with thousands of the props and costumes used. There were a ton of explanation boards on how the various scenes were made and makeup used. Overall, we greatly enjoyed our tour and were exhausted when we left. 

Warner Brothers London - Harry Potter Tour Photos

We had driven ourselves to the movie studio about 45-minutes away from the campsite. As we usually did during our 6 weeks of traveling, we left our power cord in the camping pitch to show that the site was occupied. Unfortunately, when we returned the power cord was gone. It had been "pinched" (stolen)! The office knew nothing about it. We were fine without it for the last two days, but we had to pay £49 ($62 USD) for the cord when we returned the van. The good news was, we had expected it to cost more. 

October 4, 2023 - After our tiring afternoon yesterday, we debated whether to just lay around today. It was our last day to see London again (we visited here around 40 years ago). We decided we would do the Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour again, as we get to see and learn a lot in a short time. Tickets were booked on the Big Bus and we grabbed an Uber to take us into the city.

We spent all day riding the bus and viewing London from the top of the double-decker. Unfortunately, the audio commentary of the tour was terrible. There was almost no history and stories on what we were seeing. It was mostly music, with the stops being announced. Our other city tours always had good audio tours. But we did see a lot! 

Views of London

Part of our tour ticket included an hour's tour on the river Thames. We rode this tour boat from the Parliament area to the London Towers. Luckily, the weather was great, and the tour commentary was very interesting. After lunch, we walked around a bit then hopped on the tour bus again. The tour bus route we were on took 3½ hours to make one complete circle of London (including several repeat roads). After a few hours, we got off the bus at Trafalgar Square for a drink and dinner. Connie suspected something and asked me "What do you have planned"?

Unknown to her, I had gotten on the phone and researched theater tickets to see Phantom of the Opera. We like this show and have seen it performed live in Las Vegas. I also saw it on Broadway in New York and Connie saw it in Phoenix. The tour bus had driven by the theater earlier in the day where we saw the Phantom was playing. I was lucky again and got us tickets for tonight's show. There were only 9 tickets left. The secret was out. We had a nice dinner across the street from "His Majesty's Theater" then caught the performance of Phantom of the Opera. While not a large theater, the performance was great! Great scenes, great costumes, and wonderful talent. However, I already knew how the story was going to end. This was the first time we've had trouble with Uber. Catching an Uber back to the campsite was problematic. It took us several attempts to get a car. After several fails, we were getting worried how to get back. Finally, we caught an Uber car. Almost 2 hours after then end of the show, we safely arrived back to the campervan. 

An Evening with The Phantom of the Opera

October 5, 2023 - Today was our final day with the campervan. We spent the morning cleaning the van and packing up. We had accumulated several souvenirs over the past two months, and it was touch and go if everything would fit back into our luggage. Connie made it happen - barely. We returned our campervan to McRent without issue, other than the missing power cord. I can't believe we made it through driving on the left side of the road on these crazy streets and narrow one-lane roads without any damage.

We didn't have any problems getting an Uber to take us to our hotel by the airport for our last night in the United Kingdom. It was a quiet night with dinner at the hotel. We slept great in the king-sized bed. That was our biggest issue with the van - the small bed that you had to climb up into. 

October 6, 2023 - Today was spent flying home. Up early, catch a Taxi (I didn't want to chance an Uber this early in the morning), and breakfast at the airport. Getting through security was a breeze, but our flight was delayed for over an hour. They ended up changing planes and having us walk for 20+ minutes to another gate. Finally, we made the 11+ hour flight home. Now my patience was being tested again!

We've found it's cheaper to rent a car one-way from Phoenix to home than paying for weeks (months) of parking or using our local shuttle service to and from the airport. I know it was a Friday, but the car rental process was terrible! Avis - you need to get your act together! After spending almost an hour in line to pick up our "reserved" car, they took care of the paperwork then sent us downstairs to ANOTHER line for 30 minutes to actually get our car assigned. What a mess!

We're safely home again and brought back several wonderful memories (and hundreds of photos) of our 2023 "Lands" Epic Adventure. We're already planning Epic Adventure 2024. Maybe not as "epic", but exciting just as much. We plan to make the trip we had planned in 2020 when COVID hit that cancelled the trip. We'll be taking our new Unity Motorhome for a 90-day trip to the Canadian Maritimes. Stay tuned for more info... 

Location (Map)

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2023 "Lands" Epic Adventure - Cost Breakdown
Week 8 (Final Week) - 2023 "Lands" Epic Adventure ...

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Monday, 17 June 2024