The Scottish Highlands - HP Day 4
Trip Start May 23, 2009
28Trip End Jul 20, 2009
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Where I stayed
Apex International Hotel - Edinburgh
Our first HP stop was in Glencoe in the mountains where Hagrid’s hut was located in movies 3-6 (and is also seen in Braveheart)
Our group went for what Heather called a "20 minute downhill stroll" that ended up being three miles in sporadic rain. There was a large bug that pinched and stalked David and it was pretty funny to watch him try to run away from it. When we made it through the winding back roads we came across a cute, small, little town that was mostly full of inns and B&Bs. We then had lunch in another town at a cafeteria-style restaurant attached to a tourist store and whisky shop. We were all encouraged to try Heather Crème Whisky, a Scottish favorite, and my mom instructed me to go buy it for our table. So there I was buying my first bottle of alcohol per my mom’s instruction… in my Harry Potter shirt. It was quite a scene. It was pretty good though and we got these itty bitty plastic cups to all give it a go. After lunch and browsing the store we hurried onto the coach to drive to Glenfinnan and Loch Shiel. This stop was my favorite of the day as it had he picturesque train viaduct and lake
We followed a trail up the hill and took pictures, enjoyed the rain’s mist, and even all took a shot of Heather Crème together toasting to Harry Potter, of course. On the opposite side of the viaduct is Loch Shiel, a beautiful lake that is also recognizable from the train scenes and where Harry flew on Buckbeak during his Care of Magical Creatures lesson in the Prisoner of Azkaban. It also was where they filmed the beach scene in Goblet of Fire where Hermione is sitting there and Viktor Krum struts by with a bunch of girls trailing behind him. When I watched the movie I remember thinking that the background must have been CGI-ed because it was too pretty to be real and that Krum walked with a rather funny strut. Not only was it extremely real and beautiful, the rocky shoreline was really rocky and difficulty to walk on thus explaining the high-knee strut.
On our bus ride back we watched COS and part of POA (which was great but distracting because I probably should have slept). COS was a lot of fun to watch because there were these hilarious subtitles that often misquoted, didn’t provide a quote, or seemed to make up its own dialogue
We ended up getting back pretty late, almost 3-4 hours behind scheduled arrival (by choice though since we wanted more time at our locations) and trecked up the hill to Grey Friar’s Cemetery where a Tom Riddle is buried, pretty neat, huh? Ok, its “Riddell” but it’s close enough. Then we had a late night dinner, packed our bags at the hotel, and enjoyed our last night in Edinburgh.