So our hostel in Edinburgh is just a 2 minute walk from a great cafe called the Elephant House. I’d call it a local cafe but it is the very place where 17 years ago, JK Rowling wrote the majority of the first book of a series that is very dear to my heart, Harry Potter, and is now a major tourist destination here in Edinburgh.The t-shirts and buttons and hats and mugs for sale stamped with “The Birthplace of Harry Potter,” would ruin the small cafe feel but if you are patient enough to stand in line and order, the back room is quiet and has a gorgeous view of the old city and the Greyfriars Kirkyard Cemetery which is rumored to be the inspiration for the cemetery in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (super-fan alert, sorry!).
I got a latte and an almond croissant, and Christina got a cappuccino and raspberry white chocolate cake.
An elephant in the windowsill of our table with the cemetery and the castle in the background –
There was no wifi inside The Elephant House because 1) people would truly stay there for hours and 2) to keep the “read a book and let the time fly by” feel alive.
Which got me thinking- I absolutely loved reading the Harry Potter books growing up, I’ve read each one at least twice and I want to continue to read them again and again! The story was such a big part of my childhood I can hardly imagine what it would have been like without the midnight releases and the movie marathons. For those reasons, the free wifi thing at The Elephant House got to me today. In the very place where the largest book franchise in history was brought to life, the staff must restrict wifi so that people actually appreciate where they are. There is nothing like being engulfed in a good book, and it’s very sad that the next generation of kids will probably never experience the feeling. With our increasing dependence on technology, who’s to say what the next idea multi-billion dollar will be. My guess is it won’t be literature.
Had to take a picture with my new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I’ll finish it on the plane to Barcelona in the morning!