24 Hours in Edinburgh

A few weeks ago I made a short (and cheap!) trip to Edinburgh. I can’t really explain why I wanted to go there specifically; something about the castles and weather and paying homage to J.K. Rowling appealed to me. What little time I did have there was lovely, but since I’m not a person to be rushed, I didn’t get to see that much of the city.

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View from Copenhagen Airport before the flight

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Breakfast! They call breakfast paninis “toasties” hehe.

I am an enormous fan of writing and/or working in coffee shops and cafes. So naturally, I had to visit one of the cafes that the literary badass J.K. Rowling frequented, where she wrote much of the first Harry Potter (as a single mom living on welfare).


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It’s called The Elephant House. It was made especially cozy by the view of Edinburgh Castle from the window, and the ominous gray clouds outside. And since I have you here and we’re talking about J.K. Rowling, I’ll just slip in this tangential-but-beautiful little excerpt from her 2008 Harvard commencement address:

“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter, and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”


Here are some nice pictures of the city:

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As you can see… there is incredible architecture in Edinburgh. Cathedrals and castles are literally around every corner. I think that’s the thing I found most unique: this synthesis of the past and the pending in the interface between lumpy weathered cobblestone streets, and modern hipster coffee shops.

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and proof that I was really there

24 hours definitely wasn’t enough—Edinburgh is still largely a mystery to me.



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