Edinburgh - Elephants and Wizards

Trip Start May 30, 2012
Trip End Nov 07, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Monday, September 3, 2012

Edinburgh is the first city that I can actually picture us living in. It has so many appealing qualities about it: history, old buildings and castles, mountains, cute shops and coffee houses, the oceanfront, and did I mention amazing literature? Many amazing authors and poets have called Edinburgh their home, including two of my favorites, Robert Louis Stevenson and J. K. Rowling! Edinburgh is also our first stop of our (well, really my) Harry Potter tour through the U.K. We will be going to a few locations that played a major part of the magic of Harry Potter, but Edinburgh is definitely the biggest since it is the birth place of the stories. J. K. Rowling moved to Edinburgh from England after a horrible divorce and she struggled with making enough money for her and her daughter. She decided to write a few books to provide a little extra income, and she did so in a little cafe called The Elephant House. The owner of the cafe was kind enough to let her sit and write for hours without having to buy tons of coffee, and it was cheaper for her because she didn't have to turn on the heat or electricity in her house for this time. So, with Rowling tucked away in a little corner in the Elephant House, looking out the window to see the old sights of Edinburgh, Harry Potter was born. This cafe was definitely a must see for me! The Elephant House now makes a killing off of this, as every Potter fan comes through wanting to have lunch or a coffee in there. I guess I am that cheesy Potter fan too, because Ryan and I sat in that corner, looking out that same window, sipping our coffee, and remembering all the stories of Harry Potter. It really was magical!

There are several sights in Edinburgh that inspired Rowling to write Harry Potter. When you look out the window of The Elephant House, you see three magnificent sights: old Edinburgh Castle, the spooky Greyfriar's Graveyard, and the amazing George Heriot's School. Ryan already mentioned some neat things about the graveyard, but we also went on a tombstone hunt. On our walking tour, our guide told us about four tombstones that have names that are in the Harry Potter books: McGonagal, Moody, Pettigrew, and Tom Riddle. I only found two out of the four. Ryan and I also went to see the George Heriot's School, which is definitely a school that inspired Hogwarts. It is old and spooky and gorgeous. We weren't allowed inside, as classes were in session, but the security guard let me walk up the drive way to take some photos. He also told us about another school that was similar in architecture, but it had recently been closed down and is now for sale. So we walked about twenty five minutes until we came upon, what can only truly be described as Hogwarts. It took my breath away. I can just imagine being a young witch or wizard and going to Potions or Transfiguration Class there! It used to be a school and college for the deaf, but is now for sale as a "world class hotel." What a shame.

There was still so much more that we saw and did in Edinburgh, but those stories will have to wait for another time. I mean, if we tell you everything now, what will we have left to share when we get back? ;)

With love,
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Mutti & Father on

Everything sounds so exciting, Great pictures!!!
We cannot wait for you to come home & hear all (& I mean all) your stories. Miss you both alot, love always :)

Nana on

Don't forget to save some really great adventure stories for the "BOOK" !!
Loving traveling along with you's!! Take care---- Lovingly,Nana XX

Auntie Karen on

Melissa would love the elephants. I think if you guys buy that school or shares in the hotel, then the family can come stay with you for a while and tour around.

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