Scotland was one of those “last minute” adventures I decided to go on. It was never on the cards but it was snowing at my next destination and I wanted to avoid being snowed in at an airport. A little adventure to Scotland seemed like the perfect escape!
The flights were pretty cheap, so I left Germany and headed to Edinburgh. Whilst there, I roamed up and down the cobblestone streets of this magical city. It also comes complete with it’s very own Harry Potter Castle perched on top of a volcanic plug.
Edinburgh is just awesome. It’s pretty, medieval and feels like you’re constantly in a movie.
Scotland, over the past week or so, had been very good to me. I’ve never in my life had so much Gin and Whisky before… and I even got to see real Scottish castles. It was well worth avoiding the snow. And this place, it was extremely easy to make friends. The Scots are a good bunch.
Whilst I wandered the streets, I found this little cafe that always seemed to be packed. As I walked by, a lady in line to enter the cafe told her friend that this is where JK Rowling sat in the corner with her one cup of coffee and wrote the Harry Potter Series. I’m not sure how much truth is in that statement, but I was intrigued.
On my final day in Scotland, I wanted to see what the hype was all about. I headed back to The Elephant House. “One, please.” The server sat me down at a table for four. It made me feel a little uncomfortable as there was still a line of patrons behind me.
I looked around… everyone was drinking coffee, reading books, writing in notebooks and typing away on their laptops. Pretty much everyone in this cafe besides the two American girls sitting to my right were here writing away.
I let out a sigh of relief. Coming here alone seemed like a very common practice. It also helped that the turnover from the patrons outback seemed to keep the line flowing as the staff were bustling back and fourth.
I looked at the menu and decided on a coffee and muffin. It seemed that this cafe had a bit of energy in it. It was different from other cafe’s. I looked around the room trying to figure out everyone’s story. The two American girl’s next me, I already had figured out – they liked the Harry Potter and just wanted to say to their friends that they had a coffee at The Elephant House.
And, as I looked around more, I saw more stories unfold…. there was a lovely bloke sitting at the window where he was madly typing away in his laptop. It seemed like he was writing a novel. Did he come here to channel the energy of this magical place to give his novel a bit more creativity? Then, I saw a girl wearing a red jumper sitting over at the wall. She was writing in a notebook. She looked sad to me. I felt as if she was writing a story about how she lost the love of her life…
After about fifteen minutes, the server took my order. There were excited Japanese girls that hurried by to the back of the shop and two Spanish friends, a girl and guy, sat where the Americans once were. From what I could gather by the look in his eyes, the guy was madly in love with the girl and she was seeing someone who wasn’t right for her. I just wanted to reach out and tell him that he would be ok.. and to tell her to go for him. They were perfect for each other.
My coffee and muffin arrived. The novelist at the window was still typing and the writer with the red jumper was still writing her sad love story… the coffee was average, the muffin was dry, but the stories being told around me without one word being said were incredible.
More writers came into the cafe and put their heads down. I thought for a second… I’m writing a book too. I’m actually writing a book just like everyone else in this cafe. I’m a writer. At that moment I felt like I entered into a secret writers club. I cracked a bit of a smile and felt really good. I even felt a little bit choked up.
I paid my bill. Then, I started to walk out of the cafe. I stopped for a second and decided that it’s probably best I go to the loo. This was probably the best decision I made whilst in Scotland, because when I opened the door I was completely inspired.
Graffiti completely covered the walls… and this wasn’t like tagging or drawings, these were tributes to JK Rowling. Her female fans have dropped into this cafe to write kinds messages of support, questions and love.
Even the light and ceiling was covered with words. It was AWESOME.
My most favourite thing I read was, “You taught me how to read.”
I think sometimes we forget the positive influence each and everyone one of us can have on the world. It’s usually the little things that mean the most. To me, this day… it was feeing the energy of rising authors, tumultuous love affairs that may never happen, broken hearts and inquisitiveness from those that are still lost and then, ending with the bathroom tribute.
I walked out feeling that there’s great hope for the world – it’s within each of us… we just need to reach in ourselves and pull it out.
A girl gone walkabout in the great big world!