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With the final movie installment released, Harry Potter fans seeking to hold on to the magic for a while longer will be pleased to know that the magic isn’t going anywhere. Universal Studios and Warner Bros. have just announced that their popular “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” park attraction in Orlando is also coming to Hollywood. The park will likely not open for a few years yet, and ride and feature details have yet to be released. Worry not, though, because Warner Bros. has more good news – starting March 31, 2012, you can participate in the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London and see the sets, costumes, and props from the Harry Potter movies.
For more than ten years the Warner Bros. Studio Leavesden was home to the Harry Potter films, and the tour has a lot to show for it. You can enter the Great Hall, wander Dumbledore’s office, check out Harry’s Nimbus 2000, learn about the green screen effects used in the films, and see other sets and props. Tickets are already on sale (adult tickets are $44, children ages 5 to 15 get in for $33, and children under 5 are free), so if you’ll be in London and want to get your Potter on, be sure to make your reservation. www.wbstudiotour.co.uk
The rioting and looting in London that began over the weekend have continued this week, and understandably some travelers are nervous about visiting the city. For the most part the incidents have been confined to neighborhoods outside the main tourist areas in central London. Yet, some public transportation routes have been affected, and a Michelin-starred restaurant in the ritzy Notting Hill neighborhood was attacked by thugs demanding diners’ valuables (the looters were rebuffed by restaurant staffers wielding rolling pins). There are also rumors that the stores around Oxford Circus may close down to avoid any potential incidents.
Travel as a vehicle for spiritual transformation is hardly a new notion – seekers have practiced the act of pilgrimage for as long as they’ve looked up to the skies and attempted communion with a higher power. Even in today’s short-attention-span society, setting out to honor the divine or ponder the mysterious is a time-honored tradition that refuses to wane with the changing tides of our technologically driven lives. This list of 10 sacred places (and the accompanying slideshow) showcases points of perceived power and peace around the globe, where the physical appears to meld seamlessly with the metaphysical whether due to awe-inspiring natural settings, reported ties to great gods or holy humans, or long-standing consecration as sites of worship and ritual.
Our list isn’t meant to be comprehensive. Sacred places mean many things to different people – zipping along an open highway, sailing a calm sea, or even hibernating inside on a cold winter’s morning can all bring about their own sort of peace. Where do you go to retreat from the world?
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