I grew up obsessed with Harry Potter. I think there are few series that have so inspired and touched readers across the world. Although I knew the story was fictional, there was a tiny (huge) part of me that hoped it was reality. The seventh and final book came out when I was 18 and about to leave for college, which added a very dramatic significance to it all.
Beyond contributing to my already overactive imagination, JK Rowling inspired a true love of reading, and I have always been thankful to her for that. After I found Harry Potter, my appetite for instant transportation became voracious. When I was in Edinburgh a few weeks ago, I was drawn to the Elephant House, the cafe where JK Rowling conceived of Harry.
The creative energy inside the cafe is incredible. It has a fantastic view of Edinburgh castle, and overlooks a graveyard full of names one finds within the novels, as well as the school that supposedly inspired Hogwarts, which more closely resembles a castle than any elementary school I have ever seen.
The bathrooms of the Elephant House are a tribute to JK Rowling’s far-reaching influence, as hundreds of her fans have written her messages of thanks and admiration on every surface imaginable.
Edinburgh itself is a city full of magic and intrigue, and discovering the names and places that inspired one of my favorite authors was almost as incredible as a trip to Hogwarts itself.