Last night I was talking with Hot Stuff and showing him the pictures I was featuring today. "People are going to think we had the worst vacation ever," he said.
WRONG. Because we found WANDS, guys. ACTUAL HISTORICAL MAGIC WANDS. OBSERVE:
A "Conductor's Baton"? Please. We know a wand when we see it.
As we were traveling through the countryside Hot Stuff and I both felt like we came to a deeper understanding of what Tolkien envisioned when he wrote about the Shire. And when we got to Edinburgh, suddenly Hogwarts and the entire wizarding world made so much more sense.
Oh, hey, friendly neighborhood castle! We don't have a lot of those in the US.
I know this sounds dorky, and it totally is, but wandering around Edinburgh among these old, amazing buildings, it really felt like it would be easy to see magic everywhere. (Also yes, we totally ate at the cafe where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter. No pictures, because it was super crowded and I get embarrassed easily. But Hot Stuff did suggest visiting the bathrooms so I could say I used the same bathrooms JK Rowling used when she was writing Harry Potter.)
(No, seriously, I didn't.)
Me, outside of every single building: "This one must be something. What is it? IT CAN'T LOOK LIKE THIS AND JUST BE OFFICES."
We loved everywhere we went in the UK, but Edinburgh was...special. Also FREAKING COLD. But special. The architecture is amazing and everything is gray with random brilliant pops of color. We even took a ghost tour. My inner snob was like, "That's such a tourist thing!" Then my inner snob-puncher said, "YES AND GUESS WHAT YOU ARE TOURISTS." I love these old cities because you can't escape the fact that you are walking around on so much history and so many centuries of living. And the churches! It KILLS me that you can go hang out in a church that was originally built in the 1200s and people still worship there every Sunday. I look up at the soaring rafters and imagine an invisible mist of prayers and hopes, several feet thick, sent up there by generations and generations of people.
But I digress. We took the train and I got all giddy that this was the same ride from London to Edinburgh that the idea first came to JK Rowling. Except we went backwards, from Edinburgh to London. So, surprise! I came up with OPPOSITE HARRY POTTER! About a girl in the wizarding world who discovers there's a unmagical world of really boring people with no magic all around her, and that she gets to go to regular boarding school where no pets are allowed and instead of going on magical adventures they...read about them!
We kept wandering back to the castle to just stare at it.
I want a castle, yo.
More on castles in the next post. Because there is ALWAYS more to say about castles, right? Right. Back to the really important things: Harry Potter. Because as much as the UK pretends like it is fantasy, we know the truth. Not only did we see a witch trying desperately to pass as a muggle on the tube (no pictures, sorry, but she totally wore every piece of muggle clothing she could find, none of which matched), we also found EVEN MORE WANDS.
Do the wizards know these are here, and just laugh? Or does the government try to pull off the "hiding in plain sight" thing as far as the witch and wizard population is concerned?
TAKE ME TO YOUR PORTKEY.
And finally, because I wasn't kidding when I said I had a bathroom shot for every post about England, I give you: PUB BATHROOM WIZARD GRAFFITI!
Oh, Voldy. If only you knew how far your scary reputation had fallen.