Since I never made it to The Elephant House the first time I was in Edinburgh, I definitely had to go this time. Especially after all my Potter sightseeing in London.
It just so happened that we were all hungry, so I insisted we eat at the cafe. Of course, they have a giant sign out front proclaiming themselves the “birthplace of Harry Potter.” While I know it is probably in their best interests to exaggerate that fact, I still actually really enjoyed eating there. You could see the school that supposedly “inspired” Hogwarts from the window… as well as the cemetery where Rowling apparently got some character names.
(Dad had to run back to our apartment after we ate to grab something, so mom and I ran down to the cemetery to find some names! We did indeed find the headstone of Thomas Riddell Esq., as well as a McGonagall and others.)
Within the cafe… the main Potter “attraction” was definitely the toilets… I went in mainly to take pictures. Countless people had signed the walls, written down quotes and references, and generally covered every available surface with words and drawings. It was hilarious when mom came running back to our table after she discovered it, and told me I needed to take my camera into the bathroom.
(The mirror told me, “You have dirt on your nose, did you know? Just there.” Complete with an arrow pointing at my face.)