Arthur’s Seat and Shaky Legs

We arrived in Edinburgh two weeks ago for another house sitting assignment, and promptly did our best to get out nearly every day to explore and get to know the city while we’re here.

We’ve had odd weather, like everyone else in the world. For most of Scotland, Global Weirding has meant no summer. We’ve had beautiful, sunny moments, sometimes even an hour or two of warm sun between the clouds and rain, but for the most part we’ve been chilly and wet.

I don’t mind. I actually love the rain and I’m thrilled to pieces to be away from Houston’s 103 (40 c) degree steamy swelter, but after nearly a week I was anxious for a full sunny day.

I had a goal in mind, and I really wanted clear skies on the day I tried for that goal.

I wanted to check Arthur’s Seat off my bucket list.


What a beauty of a hill! Rising in the middle of Holyrood Park, which has 650 acres of wild land right in the middle of a major city, it had been calling my name.

We woke up to warm sunshine on Friday morning and checked the weather report. The sun was expected to last all day, so we hopped into our hiking shoes and hit the trails. After a twenty minute walk from the house to the base of the hill we were confronted with this:


Stone steps and boulders, straight up the west side.

Um… That looked a little too painful for me, so we skirted around to the easier approach on the east side.


That’s more like it.

It was still a strenuous hike, especially for my lazy self who hasn’t been jogging or doing yoga since I got here a month ago (fail).


But a few well-timed breaks on the way up to “take in the scenery” while we gasped and wheezed and tried to catch our breath helped us finally reach the top.


Which we did, along with about fifty other people who had been dying for a sunny day for climbing.

I had to shuffle a bit, and wait my turn to reach the marker at the highest point, but it was worth it. Look at that view!


No, not at that guy. I swear, that is NOT Brian with his shirt off behind me.


This view. What a sight to see! That’s all of west Edinburgh, including the castle to the right, which is up on it’s own extinct volcano. Do you see the park area to the left? If you look really close you can just about make out the house where we’re staying right at the upper left hand tip of that park.


This compass points to every visible landmark and tells you how far they are, and we were so lucky to have a clear day so we could see every one of them. There’s the castle again, just past Mr. Bald man’s head.

Zoom in a bit and you can see it a little better (The castle, not Mr. Bald man’s head).


I love that I’ve been to that castle with my kids. I’m missing them like mad, so it’s really nice to have memories of them scattered around the city.

We stayed at the top long enough to feel the sun starting to turn our cheeks and noses pink, then made our way back down the hill. This time we chose the direct route.

Straight down.


We carefully scrambled about thirty feet down some boulders, then continued down the stairs.

And down.

And down.

And down more stairs.

By the time we reached the bottom my legs were wobbly and a gust of wind on my back might have knocked me over.

Then we dragged our selves through the streets and up the hill to get home.

It’s Monday now and my calves are finally not sore anymore, although still a little tight.

But I don’t care. It was so worth it!

On the map: Click here to see this location on our Google Map.

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About akil3655

A Scotsman and his American photographer wife traveling the world and writing about it. Tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen.

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