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Saturday, April 24, 2010

U.K. Bookish Photos

Just got back from a trip - we spent the week in Edinburgh Scotland and ventured out to Loch Ness & the Highlands. It was FANTASTIC! Edinburgh is a city with a grisly history- went on tours hearing about the notorious grave robbers/murderers Burke & Hare, the man who was the inspiration behind Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde- Deacon Brody and Maggie Dickson - the inspiration behind Nearly Headless Nick for Harry Potter...I could go on and on!

One of the most fun things we did was go on an underground ghost hunting tour of the Edinburgh Vaults. It was at 10pm and spooky. The terrain underground was uneven and it was dark, damp and creepy. The last one out of a vault had to blow out the one candle illuminating each space--NOBODY wanted to do that. You know what happens--the one who lags behind always winds up in trouble in the movies!

Me in front of the Writer's Museum. Edinburgh is home to many famous writers such as: Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island, Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hide), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, etc)- just to name a few!

J.K. Rowling lived on the 2nd floor of this building in Edinburgh and wrote much of the first few Harry Potter books from this window.

This cafe is touted as being the "Birthplace of Harry Potter" (though one tour guide told us it's not true). But the story is that it was cheaper for her to sit in the cafe, buying coffee every few hours rather than have to pay to heat her flat.

Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle, and has been home of the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland since 1309. It has featured in many film and television productions over the years, and was seen recently in 'Elizabeth', 'Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves' and 'Robin of Sherwood'. The castle grounds are used as the location for some of Hogwarts' exteriors. The scene where Harry and his classmates have their first flying lesson with broomsticks is an example of one.

This is another picture at Alnwick Castle- the archways reminded me of the movies when you see Hogwarts students walking to class- am I right?

This was taken from outside the school that supposedly inspired J.K. Rowling for Hogwarts. It's located outside a cemetery reported to be haunted. They told us in the cemetery you can find graves with names of characters such as Hermione Granger and Tom Riddle.

Scotts' View, a spectacular view over the countryside to the Eildon Hills which was a favorite spot of Sir Walter Scott. Some of his best known works are Ivanhoe, Rob Roy and Red Gauntlet.

This has been my favorite castle so far- Bamburgh Castle. I could do a whole post about this castle but here's one ghost story to share with you-

Bamburgh castle has also retained the services of some ghosts. One of the most famous is that of the “Pink Lady”. She was a Northumbrian Princess whose father, disapproving of the boy his daughter loved, sent her suitor overseas for seven years. He made sure that the couple could not exchange messages and hoped that their passion would cool. The King eventually lied to his daughter and told her that her intended had married someone else abroad. He asked the castle seamstress to make his daughter a fine new dress in her favorite color – pink. The distraught girl donned her new dress and, climbing the stairway to the highest battlements, flung herself into eternity. She crashed to her death on the rocks below. Shortly after her love returned, he was heartbroken by what had happened, although the legend does not record what fate befell him next.

Well that's it for now...next trip is to Dublin in a couple of weeks. If you are a fanatic of Karen Marie Moning's Fever series like I am, you will know how excited I am to go on this trip--perhaps I can find Barrons Books & Baubles!


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oh my gosh! How cool! These are awesome. Thank you for sharing. I loved seeing them.

The Book Owl said...

Wow - that's all so cool! I bet you had an amazing time! So jealous. :]

Fantastic Book Review said...

Beautiful Pictures! I'm glad you're enjoying yourself.

When you go to Dublin - remember to stay to the lights! LOL!

Stacy said...

I love the pictures and the ghost story is so eerie and cool ~ thank you for sharing! WOW!
Can I hide in your suitcases?!?!

brizmus said...

Great pictures! Looks like you had a fantastic trip! I wish I would have known where J.K. Rowling wrote when I was in Edinburgh last time.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Finding JK Rowling's cafe was my mission when I was in Edinburgh and its not at The Elephant House like they say on the sign...she wrote it in the Nicholson Cafe on Nicholson Street---used to be owned by the Elephant House but then they moved to their current location. When I was there, the real location was a chinese buffet, I think they've sold it since then, but when you go upstairs there was a tiny billboard that told you the real story and I knew from the documentary they made about her and they showed her looking out of a second story window. And if you ever get to go there again, you can really feel it. I think she may sometimes write in the Elephant House, but its def not the original location---I dont know why the real place doesnt get more credit, its like a secret. But very cool that you got to go there and next Dublin! Awesome!

LM Preston said...

Oh my gosh! That is so one of my dream trips. I'm so sold. Just gotta save the pennies for that one.

Jennie Smith said...

Okay... just added more places to visit! Loved the pics and so glad you had an amazing time! Thanks for sharing!

The Graef Family! said...

Loved the pictures and stories! Can't tell you how jealous I am! Your getting to visit places I've waited to see since I was a little kid!! Thanks for sharing!

GMR said...

Oh, totally green with envy right now....your pictures make your trip look so fantastical (which I'm sure it was). Thanks for sharing it with us and enjoy Dublin!