Tag Archives: Marks & Spenser

My Travel in London 4 ~ City, King’s Cross, Knightsbridge ~ : Slytherin!


london 145

     Looking at Tower Bridge and Tower of London on the right, I was walking across London Bridge toward the north bank of the Themes. (I was traveling in London on March 19. The former episodes are here: My Travel in London 1, My travel in London 2, My travel in London 3) I was going to Leadenhall Market. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, you might know the place was used as the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley in the films. london 148

     Before arriving in the market, I went to the Monument (to the Great Fire of London) near Monument Tube Station. The tower was designed by Christopher Wren, who rebuilt 52 churches including St. Paul’s Cathedral after the Great Fire of London in 1666, and was constructed to commemorate the fire in 1677. Actually I was going to climb up the tower before I saw it in front of my eyes. Hmmm…311 steps…I had a second thought and just looked up at the tower… london 149

     Turning right toward Fenchurch Street from Gracechurch Street, soon I took a left toward Lime Street. Then when I entered a narrow passage, suddenly a shopping arcade with an impressive dome-shaped roof emerged in front of me. Leadenhall Market! The history of the market dates back to the 14th Century. That was massive architecture indeed, but it did not look timeworn at all. It was a lively market, where many office workers were enjoying their lunchtime holding beer in their hands. I regretted having sandwiches at Tate Modern again… london 152

     Leaving Leadenhall Market, I walked on Cornhill, the street which is the financial center of London. There were historical stone buildings on both sides of the street. Some of them are now used as shops of luxury brands such as Tiffany & Co., Hermes, and Paul Smith. It was interesting that the appearances were historic structures but the inside was modern shops. Shortly after I arrived at Bank Tube Station, and got on the underground there. london 154

     Using the Northern Line, I arrived at King’s Cross Station. Harry Potter and his friends had gotten on the Hogwarts Express from Platform 9 3/4 in this station. There were two men in station attendant costume in front of the wall. They looked bored because there were no tourists around there. london 159-aI wondered if Platform 9 3/4was no longer a tourist attraction. Actually it still is. Two days later when I passed by the same place, more than 30 people were very excited to take photos. So, it might have been a kind of miracle I was the only person who was standing at the spot at that time.

     “Excuse me…but could you take a photo for me, please?” I asked the two men. “Of course!” They consented willingly to my request. london 160They were not real station workers, but the clerks at Harry Potter shop nearby. One of them asked to me, “Which house’s muffler would you like to wear?” When I shouted, “Slytherin!” they shouted back, “Slytherin?!” in surprise. I am a fan of Professor Snape… I thanked them and dropped by the shop. I bought a pack of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans there. Happy! london 164

     Then I used the Piccadilly Line from King’s Cross and got off the train at Knightsbridge Station. I wanted to see the Cadogan Hotel, where Oscar Wilde had stayed, and the Ecuadorian Embassy, where Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, was staying…But I could not find both of them because I had not checked with a map beforehand. Besides, I was too tired to search. So, I went to Harrods and enjoyed sopping there. london 163

     It was before 5 o’clock. I did not have enough stamina for exploring in London anymore. That was why I went to Earl’s Court Station by the Piccadilly Line from Knightsbridge Station, and shopped some food at Marks & Spencer there. My last meal that day was a pack of sushi. I was interested in sushi outside Japan. Interestingly the package said, “No Raw Fish”. Basically Sushi is made from raw fish in Japan. london 169Marks & Spenser’s sushi was boiled prawn, smoked salmon and mackerel, and so on. It was quite nice, though Japan’s sushi is cheaper and more delicious. I was really tired, but was feeling content on my first day in London…

     Next day I went to York. I’ll write about it next time…