This is it – I’ve officially begun my 2.5 month backpacking trip across Western Europe with mi Amiga Lauren. It’s hard to describe the excitement and fear but I’m taking it all in stride and running with it. I’ll be trying to update regularly so give me a cheeky follow here or on bloglovin’!
So, Edinburgh – what can I say? Our stay was short but, we made fell in love. Staying in Kick Ass Hostels, literally five minutes from Edinburgh Castle, we quickly dropped off our heavy sacks and headed out to make the most of our day. First stop: the castle. Naturally, we got lost along the way despite the short distance but we got to walk through The Princess Street Gardens and it was gorgeous. We could see the castle from the path and snapped some cheeky photos:
When we finally found the castle, we paid the hefty €16.50 fee (though I think it was pretty worth it). Edinburgh Castle is incredibly historic with great informative and interesting exhibitions on world wars, royal Crown Jewels, prisoner of war barracks and more. The views from the castle are also indescribable… And photos hardly do them justice:
Once we left the castle, we decided to go to Calton Hill at the recommendation of one of our hostel’s receptionists. And the views kept coming. There is this giant monument for the Scottish soldiers who died in the Napoleonic wars that reminded me of Parthenon. Obviously, we climbed it to get some artsy shots. After taking some time to appreciate the landscape, we headed to our last stop: The Elephant House.
When I found out that JK Rowling took inspiration from Edinburgh Castle at this very café for Hogwarts and actually sat in the back room writing her novels, I was beyond excited. The Harry Potter novels were a big part of my childhood so stepping in to the establishment where they were born felt right. The café boasts photos of Jo sitting in the back room as well as a framed autograph, but the toilet walls are really the star of the show. With what I can only imagine to be thousands of handwritten messages to Jo on their walls, ceilings, door frames and even light fixtures, it really is something to see:
Some messages are thanks – for creating the magical world of Hogwarts – while others are quotes from the novels or symbols. Personal favourites were the “mischief managed” quotes, “lumos” written on the ceiling light and of course the directions to the Ministry of Magic (unfortunately, not pictured because I took the photo on my camera not iPad):
Though we were exhausted from the early morning and only had one day, there is no doubt in my mind that I will return to Edinburgh some day to see so much more.
We’ve now moved on to London for the next few days, then we’ll be heading to Bath and Brighton so stay close (instagram: teotravels) and we’ll chat soon!
Question of the day: what small cultural cities should we visit in Holland with 2 extra days on our plate?