As some of you know already, Edinburgh is my most favourite city in the whole wide world. It is full of beautiful buildings, a remarkable history, and has a great atmosphere. That is without even mentioning its links to Harry Potter and JK Rowling.
I visited the city again last month, so I wanted to share a few things with you. I went there to visit the art festivals that take place there every year. When they take place the population of the city triples in size from half a million to 1.5 million, so it gets very busy. If you decide to go during this time then I seriously recommend that you book accommodation as soon as possible. There is so much to see and do, it would also be a good idea to plan what you want to do so you can fit it all in. On a practical note you can buy a ‘Day Ticket’ to use on public transport across the whole city (busses and trams) which only costs £4, so it is great value (the drivers only accept the correct change, so make sure you have it as they won’t give you change from a £10 or £20 note).
I showed lots of photos of the festival and city the last time I posted about a trip to Edinburgh, so I won’t post loads of photos similar to that. What I will post is new things that are pretty cool! I found a magic shop towards the bottom of the Royal Mile that I have never seen before on visits to Edinburgh. It is on the right hand side of the road as you walk down the hill, and it looks like this:
This is a statue on the Royal Mile, near to the Cathedral, and locals consider it good luck to rub his big toe. That is why his big toe is so shinny; from being constantly polished by passers-by:
Then there is this photo I took for my friend Lunar Kitty who plays the harp:
I am going to post a few cool videos on YouTube of performances of street performances from the past few years.
Lastly I want to share some Harry Potter and JK Rowling things with you. I went on the FREE Harry Potter tour that I mentioned in my last post about Edinburgh ( www.pottertrail.com ). It was so much fun, and I found out a few things that I didn’t know before. What I found to be most interesting is finding out that there is a hotel in Edinburgh called The Balmoral Hotel, where JK Rowling went to write the final pages of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She was struggling to find the right way to end the series, so she decided to check in to the hotel and hope that a change of scenery would help. After several days of locking herself into her bedroom she finally finished it, and decided to celebrate by drinking a bottle of Champagne and get a little drunk. At that point she picked up a small bust and turned it upside down, and wrote some graffiti on it saying “JK Rowling finished Harry Potter here” and wrote the date. The next morning though, she felt guilty about what she had done, so went to the hotel reception to confess, and offer to pay for a replacement. But instead of being mad at her, they decided to keep the bust, and rename the room the JK Rowling Suite, where the bust has been turned upside down and left on display for everyone to see. You can stay in this room still, though it will cost you just short of £1000 a night. If you are lucky though, and the room is empty, the hotel will let you go inside the room to look around (I am not sure if they will charge you for this though). The hotel is situated right next door to Waverly Train Station, which is the main train station in Edinburgh.
This is the Elephant House Café, which as I mentioned in my last post about Edinburgh is a place JK Rowling used to visit before she became world famous to write the Harry Potter stories. I went inside to have some lunch, and took some photos to share with you all. There is a signed first edition copy of the first book in a display cabinet near to the counter, and several photos and newspaper clippings on the wall about JK Rowling. If you do go here, please be aware that they charge you to go in and look around if you decide not to eat there, and the money they get from this goes to charity. Also, take a pen with you! I say that because when you go to use the rest rooms, the walls are covered in Harry Potter graffiti. And I mean covered! Thousands of people have left messages for Harry and JK Rowling on the walls, and the café has decided not to paint over it, so it has become a shrine.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.
“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” Mary Anne Radmacher.