Karen Koren: Mirror mirror on every wall

The outlook tower at the Camera Obscura.
The outlook tower at the Camera Obscura.
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I ENJOYED a very productive weekend when old friends visited from London. It had been a while since they had been in the Capital and they were very keen to see the sights.

We took them to Camera Obscura, which was a place that I realised I hadn’t visited for more than 25 years.

It has been an attraction since 1835. I had no idea that they had expanded, all six floors give visual impact, illusions, puzzles, tricks and a hands-on experience.

The Tiny Toddlers Fest was in full swing on Saturday. We nearly left as it appeared to be complete chaos, lots of screeching tots and queuing. However, we persevered and I am very glad we did, as it was really fun.

The mirror maze was fascinating, though distressing when toddlers blindly ran into mirror walls.

I, on the other hand, was cautious and felt my way through.

The vortex tunnel was much more challenging, as it was hard not to feel nauseous after walking through the tunnel with a revolving light show spinning around.

The Ames Room was the ultimate illusion where the Alice in Wonderland dream comes true – at one end of the room you seem tiny and the other end, a giant.

The only disappointment was the Camera Obscura itself, which is 180 years old, but because it was a dull day and I was standing on the second level, I could only see greyness, which was a shame. I know it would not be that on a bright, sunny day.

Later that day we had the ultimate challenge and went to Locked In, Edinburgh, which is a game where up to five people are locked in a room and have to figure out how to get out.

This happens in the Old Veterinary School at Summerhall. It was scary and taxing, trying to work out, within an hour, how to get out of the room. We managed with one minute to spare.

I would highly recommend trying it for yourselves, it’s a really good way to spend an evening with friends.