Have you ever wondered what the first moving pictures looked like? Before movies, people could view live images projected onto a blank surface from a small angled mirror which then passed the picture through a lens. Supposedly, previewing an image of people right outside, crossing the street or shopping at a food stand, was so shocking to some that fainting was not uncommon.
While the Camera Obscura in Edinburgh is not the first in existence, it is the city’s oldest entertainment attraction still standing. Described as a mix between a periscope and a pin-hole camera, visitors can sit inside a domed chamber atop an old Victorian house, near Edinburgh Castle, to get a panoramic peak of the city. Such sights as Arthur’s Seat and the Scott Monument appear as if you stand directly above them. Your city guide will even show you how to lift people from the streets and build bridges for cars where there was none before.
Underneath, included in the ticket for the Camera, is The World of Illusion, similar to a fun house and comparable with Ripley’s Believe It or Not attractions. Bump into mirrors as you attempt to find your way through the reflective maze and stumble along a bridge through a tunnel of swirling lights. There are familiar optical illusions such as an Alice in Wonderland room, where you and your friend stand near and far each other at the same time, and 3D portraits ranging from Dracula to a giant tarantula. Capture shadow puppets on the light sensitive wall or watch your heat signature dance around the room. At the end, make sure to take a look in the gift shop, where you’ll be as entertained by choosing gifts as by the attraction itself.
Team Curso/CTR Edinburgh, Genevieve LaBadie