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I went on a holiday to Porto (Portugal) last week. I chose it because it was a lot warmer than where I am currently residing (The Netherlands), it has a lot more sun, and there were cheap Ryanair flights. Before Ryanair, I hadn’t heard of Porto. On the second day, I went on a free walking tour. At one of our stops, we came to a famous, old, and very beautiful book store called Livraria Lello & Irmão. I was in awe looking around. Then the guide told us that it was a book store that JK Rowling was inspired by when writing Harry Potter. She apparently wrote the very beginning chapters of Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone in the little cafe above.

How did I not know this? I went back to my hostel, opened up Google, and researched. JK Rowling had spent three years in Porto! The guide was telling the truth. I was in awe and felt like my trip became a little more special (as a massive Harry Potter fan). I originally wanted to go to Edinburgh so I could visit The Elephant Cafe where she wrote a lot of Harry Potter, but decided against it in March because of the cold. But turns out, I ended up connecting with a piece of her past anyway! I was over the moon. The only famous person I’ve ever really wanted to meet was JK Rowling (and… maybe Ed Sheeran).

I took two photos of the magical book store and you can see some great photos on Google HERE. I wish a book store like this existed near where I lived.

Have you ever been on a holiday and serendipitously found out that you have a greater connection to the city/town than you originally thought? Did you ever realise that you weren’t as ‘hardcore’ of a fan as you thought you were?

– Ermisenda

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