Harry Potter film locations Great Britain – Where to go to find the real magic of Harry Potter in England and Scotland – Where it has all begun #harrypotterfilmlocations #hogwarts #hogwartsexpress #harrypottergreatbritain #conciergeontheway #wheretofindthemagic harrypotterunitedkingdom #thetruthofharrypotter

Dear All, I’m so happy to finally share my Harry Potter moments with you. I have been travelling to various filming locations in Great Britain to find the real magic of Harry Potter and Hogwarts. It might be sound a bit weird for you because I’m 31 and my destinations have been chosen because of books and a wizard story, but I’m a true fan since the first book came out and I simply love it. I have read the books over 8 times and I have watched the movies even more often. My favorite character by the way is Professor Snape. It has broke my heart in the end when they finally find out who he is and how he has ALWAYS protected Harry. He’s my hero. Back to the story, please follow my adventures to places I wouldn’t have been without Harry & Co. …

Let’s go first where it has all started and where all the ideas have been coming from:

  • The Elephant House Edinburgh: The Birthplace of Harry Potter – JK Rowling has written the books here.
  • Greyfriar’s Kirkyard:  the ideas behind the names and characters – if you walk through the cemetery you will be surprised how many names you may known from the books: McGonagall, Potter, Scrymgeour, Tom Riddle … and many more
  • George Heriot’s School: the origin of Hogwarts – four houses and an on-going house competition each year – located next to Greyfriar’s Kirkyard
  • The Jacobite Steam Train: The Hogwarts Express – The ride ride goes from Fort William to Mallaig return. Described as the greatest railway journey in the world, this 84 mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis! – if you want to do it make sure, you book it weeks in advance for both ways!

Locations in England

  • Kings Cross Station: All movies – Hogwarts Express on Platform 9 ¾
  • Millennium Bridge: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • London City Hall: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Oxford New College: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Christ Church College: The hallways + the staircases have been used as location for many Harry Potter scenes + Tudor Great Dining Hall was used as an inspiration for the great Hogwarts Dining Hall
  • Bodleian Library a) Divinity School: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • b) Duke Humfrey’s Library: Hogwarts library
  • Gloucester Cathedral: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Chamber of Secrets and the Half Blood Prince
  • Ashridge House: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Ashridge Wood: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – The Woods where the Quidditch World Cup is held.
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The making of Harry Potter – I have been quite disappointed to be honest with you and I don’t recommend it for kids who really believe in Harry Potter and Hogwarts.
  • Harry Potter & the cursed child – I absolutely loved it!
  • House of MinaLima: The best Harry Potter fan shop in London – It’s not a shop, it’s a journey full of art graphic from the Harry Potter movies

Locations in Scotland (+ the ones above)

  • Glenfinnan: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the Prisoner of Azkaban, and the Goblet of Fire
  • The Jacobite Steam Train: All movies – The Hogwarts Ex
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NEW YEAR – Happy 2019 – reflection 2018 – resolutions – yes or no – #conciergesandra #conciergeontheway #travelgirlno1 #lookingback #travelblog

Looking back at 2018, it was a tough start without having a voice for over 2 months, a constant asthma problem, everything was new in London for me … it was such a crazy beginning and I never felt so lost and lonely like in 2018.

London is such a different beast of a city for a concierge to learn. I couldn’t even answer the easiest questions, nobody knows you and in this case it’s even more tough to ask for help. In the first months I was doubting myself & questioning whether if I’m really a good concierge. I didn’t ever wear my keys because I didn’t feel comfortable enough to be recognized as a member of staff. Luckily I didn’t give up. In some instances, I’m just stubborn, I wanted to prove myself … I learned, walked, created my own city maps, spent a lots of money in going out and exploring GB. I got better, I began getting great feedback, finally people knew my face… I still don’t know everything but I feel great now and comfortable in so many ways. I’m very proud of myself for getting through all of this.

If I have learned one thing this year, it’s all about friendships, empowerment and the faith in yourself. Don’t ever believe you can’t do it. I was feeling so lonely till I changed something in my life and got back to myself. I guess this was one of the biggest journeys this year. I was looking for what I’m and what I actually needed. Thank „god“ I found it.

I’m surrounded by so much great people, especially women who inspire me, motivate & support me. Knowing everything is possible helps me to pay it forward. We should inspire each other, we should be proud of each other! We should use and raise our voice together for ourselves.

I have been to the following cities this year: Istanbul, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Duesseldorf, St. Moritz, Seoul, Mallorca, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Paris, Lisbon, New York and Zurich… and I simply can’t wait to travel again. Traveling just open my eyes and it feeds my soul with love and understanding.

One more thing to share with you – my „resolutions of 2019“ – I’m actually not a big fan of  it because I don’t think we need a new year to change things but at least we should think about of what we maybe can do better. Here are my points:

  • reduce your social media activities (daily just 4hours instead of 5hours)
  • try to get your weight back since you moved to London (10 kilos)
  • do more free hugs
  • write more blog articles, upload your travel pictures and talk about your journeys
  • be patient + diplomatic (TRY IT)
  • be more sustainable #LoveThePlanet – reduce the use of plastic
  • support a social project
  • sell your clothes and try to live minimalistic
  • stop being an idiot toward yourself

There we are, hello 2019! Let’s do it! Sandra

 

How to become a London hipster for a day / Spend a Sunday in London´s East End how I would do it – The colourful side of London you may not know about #londonseastend #colorfullondon #londonblog #travelblog #conciergeontheway #londonhipster #bricklane #shoreditch

What can I tell you about London that you don’t already know?

These days, it’s quite common for many people from all over the world to have already visited London, as low cost air made traveling very accessible. It’s the number one city in Europe. They are millions of travel guides, books and articles on what to do and what to discover in this town. That’s why I would like to explain how I like to spend my time off in the buzzing capital – my adopted home.

My favourite area in London is Shoreditch, in East London. It’s full of young people wearing clothes two decades old in style. This is what I truly love about this area. If you think you have what it takes to be a hipster, here we go. This one is for you…

Kick off your day at The Breakfast Club Shoreditch to get a feeling for the area and its spirit. The pancakes are a must.  The alternative I would recommend is Ottolenghi Spitalfields. It has the best pastries, cakes and brownies. Enjoy a smoothie or coffee to go and continue your way through old Spitalfields market… It’s made up of two different sections. Here you can find antique stuff, handcrafted things, a food market and a lot of nice little boutiques in and around. From here on we make our journey to Brick lane. I LOVE this street. Brick Lane and its little alleys are full of street art. Just wander around and get inspired by all the colors.  In the middle of Brick Lane you will find the Truman Brewery where on the weekends it becomes a fantastic street food market, the best vintage market and the backyard market. Oh my, it’s heaven. The backyard market is one of my favorites, it’s full of pop up stalls of British designers. Take a pit stop at Cafe 1001 – this is my happy place, it’s part of an inner courtyard full of cool little boutiques, designer pop up stores and the place to be for vinyl fans.

If you still have the power to continue your journey, make sure you pop by BOXPARK. Here you can fine the ultimate London trendsetter lifestyle products. You will find the world’s first pop up stores in old shipping containers. It’s just amazing. Depending on your time, if you are hungry and you would like to get a different experience, stop by at Red Rooster and enjoy their Sunday brunch with live gospel singing.. They will blow you away.

If you are still discovering Shoreditch and had a little bite at one of the food stands and you would like to have dinner somewhere, I would recommend Blanchette on Brick Lane or the ultimate fish & chips place – Poppies
Now I hope you enjoyed your Sunday just like I would, with a drink in your hand. See you at Cafe 1001!

Sandra

 

How exciting it is to live in London.. #SandraExplores #conciergeontheway #newcity #move #london #londonblog #myexpierence #challenge #followyourdreams #excitement #youliveyoulearn

Hello peeps,

Although it has already been 4 months in London, it doesn´t matter where I go or who I meet, the reaction is always like „OOhhhh myyy goooodddd, London, how is it going, it´s so super exciting.. whhhoaamamm, baaaahhhmm, .. “ and I really don´t know what to say. The initial months are now over, and it has been quite overwhelming, especially in the beginning. To be honest, I wasn’t´t that super excited, because I know what it means to move to another city and to start from scratch as a Concierge. This is really one of my biggest personal challenges ever, but I love to challenge myself and I love to stay active and learn from others. A lot of people asked me „Why are you leaving Berlin?“ „You work in a great hotel, you are very well connected in the city“ and bla bla bla.. but in German we have saying for that „You should go when it´s the most beautiful“ (the English equivalent would be „Leaving on a high note“) . That´s my little goal, London is my fourth city (after Dresden, Düsseldorf and Berlin) and it´s the most crazy one, too. The biggest challenge is actually the work pace; it´s completely different, my rota is 3 days 12 hour shifts and 3 days off. That´s it. I mean I´m used to working long and hard, but it´s a huge challenge for my body, because it´s very tough to work 36 hours in just 3 days. The tempo is insane in London and I have never worked like this before. So, my days start in general at 7am or 10am. When I do 7am to 7pm, I have to get up at 5am in the morning and I´m back home at 8:00-8:30pm. That´s it.

The traffic is unbelievable in London as well. It´s packed and crowded..  It takes a long time to get home, between 60 to 90minutes, depending on the traffic. Just imagine, my home is just 9km away from my working place.. and it takes 90 minutes.. In the beginning, I thought about buying a bike, but most of the time it´s cold, grey and rainy.. and the traffic is on the left side.. It would just kill me in the first 5 minutes.. So, NO! This is not an option at the moment. I will wait for spring and then I will start jogging and see how this is going to work for me.

On my days off, when I´m not traveling, I´m walking around, drawing my own maps to get used to the street names, tube lines & stations, sights, theaters, restaurants and so on..  I have done a lot in the last few months .. As I said, it´s easy for me to organize myself in new cities, because I know the guest questions and what they would like to know, so I´m trying to learn all this as quickly as I can. I guess I put too much pressure on me sometimes. I have moments where I´m getting frustrated because I don’t´t know things or can´t easily answer questions, it´s a huge learning curve for me. Do I think it was the best thing to do? Sometimes I doubt that, but I know it was the right decision at the right time. I´m happy to be here, I´m happy that Hyatt has given me the possibility to do that and the rest will get better every day.

There is two more observations I want to share with you.. London is so international, you can´t compare this with Berlin. We have people from everywhere and I really like that. In my hotel, there are employees from over 50 different countries .. and for most roles your language skills are far more important than your education level. The rest is knowledge and this is a part I really love. I work with so many incredible people from so many different countries. This multi national environment  allows you to make connections and built friendships relatively easy. London is the best example for „lonely together“. It has also its sad part, because a lot of people come here, because it is not easy for them to find employment in their own countries. They don´t see a future at home. My first week in the orientation was kind of sad, because I realized how many people came to Great Britain to find a job to „feed“ their families in their home countries and how much they have left behind.

The other part I really like is the politeness of the British people. If you want to stop a bus, you have to wave your hand. All British people stay in a queue.. British people really love queuing .. it´s so funny to see. You greet the bus driver when you get on and when you leave the bus you say thank you to the driver. Especially the school kids. I really like that. It doesn’t´t matter where you are going, the people always start a conversation with you „Hi, good to see you, how are you doing.. “ and you have to reply in the same kind of way. Even when you go in a shop or a super market or to a pub, everyone is doing that. I really like that. I like that the kids wear uniforms, this allows them to all look one and the same regardless of their background. I like that you can pay everywhere with credit card, even when you go to visit a cemetery, you can pay the entrance fee of £ 3.00 with a credit card. How awesome is that..

I encourage anybody who is thinking about making a big move like this to go and follow their dreams. Other then the great experience you get and the knowledge you acquire, it teaches a lot about yourself and what you are made of.

PS: Thanks to my Les Clefs d`Or Society for making my concierge life easier.

The Cotswolds & the British countryside #conciergeontheway #onedaytrip #thecotswolds #britishcountryside #greatbritain #londoninsider #whattodo #travelblog #londonblog #travelinspiration #bibury #painswick #Worcestershire #Broadwaytower

Hi guys, It’s time for a new blog. I’ve spend my Sunday in the beautiful British countryside – The Cotswolds, and oh my god, it’s stunning. I can’t remember when I last saw so much beauty in just one day. To be honest, we had perfect weather for our trip, it was an Indian summer day in November. We started our day around 8:00am, to be on time and to see as much as we can in just one day. The first stop was Bibury, it’s a typical small, charming Cotswolds village. It’s around 90 minutes from London by car.

Our journey continued to Painswick. This village is an area of outstanding natural beauty. It’s a perfect place for walking lovers and people who love to be inspired by mother nature. It’s a must see! The entire drive is worth doing this trip. It’s magical.

From here, we drove to the Broadway tower in Worcestershire… Although it resembles a Saxon castle, it was built as a folly in the 1700s. The hill the tower is located is the second highest point in the Cotswolds and the tower fits beautifully with the landscape and the view is phenomenal. I would say it’s a unique landmark in the Cotswolds.

On our way back to London, we stopped at the Designer Shopping Outlet Bicester Village, which is one of the biggest shopping outlets for high class brands in Great Britain. You can easily go from London by train and bus.. It’s a little paradise for shopaholics.

Thanks for reading. Get inspired, Sandra!

Berlin – meine Lieblinge – #mustdo #musttaste #conciergeontheway #berlininsider #liebeserklärung #berliner #sightseeing #ichbineinberliner #lieblinge #bärliner #insiderberlin #restarurantberlin #foodberlin

Liebes Berlin, seit einer Woche ist London nun meine neue Heimat, daher kommt hier nun meine Liebeserklärung an meine Stadt.. ich habe mir überlegt, euch mal all meine absoluten Berliner Lieblinge aufzuschreiben, was sollte man in seinem Berlin Besuch unbedingt mal gesehen oder gemacht haben. Berlin ist meine Heimat, ich bin hier aufgewachsen und habe 3,5 Jahre als Concierge in dieser Stadt gelebt (+16 Jahre) und gearbeitet. Here we go 🙂

einmal die Berliner Mauer Gedenkstätte entlang, am besten sonntags und dann rein in das Getümmel vom Berliner Mauerpark.. das muss man gemacht haben und wenn ihr Zeit habe, lauscht Bearpit Karaoke von Joe.

Modernen Kunstliebhabern kann ich nur folgendes an´s Herz legen, die Berlin art week, die einmal jährlich im September für 5 Tage statt findet, es ist faszinierend und spannend zu gleich, ebenso sollte man nicht missen, sich die Privatsammlung im BOROS Bunker entgehen zu lassen, hierzu muss man sich allerdings weit im Voraus anmelden.

Nun kommen wir zu den Aussichtsplattformen, für mich sollte jeder einmal in die Kuppel des Reichstags. Ich finde, das muss man gemacht haben, hierfür muss man sich allerdings wirklich lang im Voraus anmelden, da der „Aufstieg“ umsonst ist -> Online Anmeldung Bundestag und dann gibt es für mich noch 2 andere „Plattformen“, das ist einmal die Siegessäule, es ist eines der bekanntesten Wahrzeichen der Stadt, allerdings, man muss wissen, es sind eine ganze Menge an Treppenstufen zu bewältigen. Die andere Plattform ist der Teufelsberg, ich liebe diesen Ort, er ist so mystisch und die Geschichte zu diesem Ort ist noch viel spannender.

Was auch jedem nicht fehlen darf, ist der Besuch im BergmannKiez (Kreuzberg) und auch der „Türkenmarkt“ am Maybachufer dienstags und freitags in Neukölln sollte ein Muss sein.. und nun kommen wir zu meinen persönlichen Lieblingen, meinen Restaurantempfehlungen. Vorweg möchte ich sagen, ich hatte in all diesen Orten wundervolle Abende, das waren die Restaurants, die ich öfters besucht habe und die für mich persönlich einfach Berlin und seine Vielfalt ausmachen, .. viel Spass.

Wenn du weißt, dass du eine Macke hast.. #disneyfreak #disneyfan #softtoys #kuscheltiere #freak #unicorn #einhorn #icheinfachunverbesserlich #DespicableMe

Liebe Freunde, was soll ich euch sagen. Ich glaube, der ein oder andere weiß, dass ich eine „Meise“ habe. Das ist ok. Ich kann es manchmal selbst nicht erlären. Mein großes Phänomen ist allerdings meine Liebe zu Kuscheltieren, speziell Disney Figuren. Ich besitze aus fast jedem Zeichentrick Klassiker die Plüschfiguren.. also eigentlich sammel ich sie mehr. In jedem Land, dass ich bereise, besuche ich den DisneyStore und kaufe mir eine neue DisneyFigur. Manchen von Ihnen werden nur limitiert zu den Filmem hergestellt, daher hat sich so meine Sammelleidenschaft entwickelt. Nun besitze ich mittlerweie einen ganzen Stock von den Plüschtieren. Manche meiner Freunde halten mich aufgrund dessen tatsächlich für verrückt 🙂 Und nun habe ich meine neuste Errungenschaft gekauft.. kein Disney, diesmal ist es das Einhorn von Agnes aus den „Ich Einfach Unverbesserlich“ Filmen. Oh mein Gott, und es ist wirklich total fllllaaaaauuuuuuschiggggg. Ich werde die Welt nun nie wieder ohne mein Einhorn bereisen. Es ist einfach so herzallerliebst. Wer auch so ein flauschiges Ding haben möchte, ich habe es bei build a bear gekauft. a) es hat keine Plastikaugen b) die Größe ist klasse und c) Preisleistungs passt pefekt. Also für alle verrückten Unicorn Fans unter euch, ich verstehe Agnes 😀