I traveled far and wide this past week. All from the comfort of my office.
A few weeks ago, I discovered a wonderful site called virtualtrips.io. This site offers real-time tours of places from around the world. The first tour I took, to kind of test it out, was a tour of the new Penn Station in NYC. It was a 45-minute walking tour from the old station to the new station, with lots of information along the way. The cool thing is that there is a chat box where you can ask questions and make comments, and the tour guide responds in real time. I only took this one picture but the whole tour was very interesting.
On Sunday, Gabe and I went to Edinburgh for the "Harry Potter--The Truth Behind the Myths and Legends" tour. Because the tours are in real time, we opted for the one that began at 7 a.m. Fresno time (4 a.m. was just too early for us, although that was an option--ha). Mark picked him up at 6:45 a.m., we got a good seat in my office, and then Mark went to buy us bagels for breakfast.
J.K. Rowling wrote at least one of the books in Edinburgh, at a hotel charging 1000 pounds per night--and she was there for six months! The room where she wrote now goes for 2000 pounds per night--just in case you are a huge Harry Potter fan and this sounds like something to put on your bucket list.
Along the way, we came upon a bagpiper. Several of the other people on the tour requested that the tour guide pause for a few minutes so we could listen to him play. One of the questions was whether our guide knew what tartan the bagpiper was wearing--he thought it was from the Stewart clan.
We saw the street that was the inspiration for Diagon Alley.
Inspiration for Hogwarts.
And the cemetery where J.K. Rowling chose a few of the character names--Professor McGonagall and Tom Riddle.
It was a fun tour. The hardest part was that the tour guide had a strong Scottish accent--charming but hard to understand at times.
I highly recommend checking out this website and trying a tour. They are free to take but it is recommended--although not required--that you leave a tip for the guide.
We hope to find a time for the "Harry Potter Film Locations in London's West End." Right now it's on the schedule for Friday morning at 9 a.m., which obviously doesn't work since Gabe is in school. But I'll keep checking.
Saturday I took a zoom class by Krista @poppyprint: Courthouse Colour Play. It's a class I have wanted to take for a long time, so I'm thankful that she offered it via zoom. It's always been a mystery how the blocks in this pattern go together.