I always passed off Camera Obscura as just another unnecessary tourist attraction at the top of the Royal Mile. Maybe that’s just because I didn’t understand what a camera obscura was. Boy was I wrong. I had no idea it would be so much fun!
Camera obscura is Latin for dark room. It’s the final show, but what’s on the other floors is worth the £14.50 entry fee and will have you laughing with fun and amazement. You might think this place is just for kids. I beg to differ.
Right after that, you get the vortex tunnel. Ooh, that one was a headache. But still fun! I challenge you to walk through without running into the guardrail. Personally, I’m not exactly sure why I can stand the craziest roller coasters, but this thing literally gave me a headache.
The next several levels are filled with all kinds of illusions, from 3D photos to infinite rooms. There are infrared cameras and tables where you can change your features with a friend (don’t know how better to describe that; you’ll have to experience it yourself). There’s even a machine which will morph your face, such as into a primate, an old man or woman, etc.
One of my favorite attractions was an optical illusion table which appeared to create a disembodied head. The friend whom I took with me gave a wonderful jump when she walked in and saw my head with no body below. Success!
Overall, we had a great time. We also had a special treat when one of the staff showed us some hidden tricks. One of which is in the room with the plasma balls and columns. Two people can touch separate devices around the room, and then put their fingers together in the center of the room. They’ll be able to see the electrical discharge between them. But be warned, the zap can be quite intense!
We ended up spending nearly two hours there, and I felt we could have stayed even longer had there been time.
The best thing about Camera Obscura is that it’s open later than other attractions, as late as 9 pm depending on the month. It’s also indoors, which is perfect in a city known for inclement weather. Click here for directions, and enjoy your visit. You won’t regret it.