Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Edinburgh Takeover: Day 7

The final day has arrived and I think us folk who have been covering/working/performing the Edinburgh Fringe (delete as appropriate) have all made it in one piece. In the morning I bid my wonderful fellow NI Critics a very melancholy farewell and then went on The Potter Trail to cheer myself up. Which worked perfectly.

It was quite simply, brilliant fun. Led by the enigmatic Richard, we were taken on a mini romp through Old Town, talking about all things Harry Potter related. Starting at the Greyfriars Bobby statue, he led us into Greyfriars Graveyard, back out and along Potterrow, down to Spoon and then back to the Royal Mile before we ended on Victoria Street.

There aren't actually that many sites, but this isn't really the point of the tour. What Richard does is immerse you into the magical world, not only through facts about JK Rowling and her life in Edinburgh but also through his extensive knowledge of the books. Clad in a robe and brandishing a green umbrella, he scattered the tour with such interesting information, some of which even I didn't know. Which surprised me a lot as I was 90% sure my Harry Potter nerdiness was at a high enough level for me to not learn anything new. Apparently not.

The tour was pretty huge, which isn't overly surprising considering it's free, and it had all ages covered from young children to adults to the elderly. It was particularly great for children and they hung off Richard's every word as if he was Harry Potter himself, the adoration clear in their faces. The robe was probably helping. And the glasses. But he was brilliant with them, teaching them a very successful spell for changing the colour of the traffic lights (it worked every time no matter who tried it), offering them a house competition and even sorting one of the children into a house.

Considering that Gryffindor took every single point for the house cup, I feel there might have been a tiny bit of cheating going on. Which wouldn't surprise me from Gryffindors. You would never find that kind of thing going on in Hufflepuff but still the mick are taken out of us constantly. And that's the only complaint I have -- there is far too much Hufflepuff racism. Everyone knows that it's actually the best house, the one that everybody wants to be in if only they were so lucky. Yes really.

It was the perfect way to end my Fringe coverage. After the tour, feeling vaguely inspired by JK Rowling's success (as I often am when I am here in Edinburgh) I wandered down to the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. Here I settled myself with a book and my writing and with a wonderful view of the Old Town on the hill, I said goodbye to this city that I adore. Every time I come here, I feel more and more at home. It really has been the best week and I am sure I will return soon.

The Potter Trail runs throughout the year. Check website for details. 

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