Sunday, January 13, 2008

Holiday Photos #27

Months ago I said I was going to get back to posting my holiday photos and wrap it all up. Well, that didn't happen, did it. But I've only got a few more months before I'll have hit the two year anniversary of our trip. I think there's probably an expiration date on sharing holiday photos, so I'm going to try to finish them up.

Last post, I left you in Edinburgh's Greyfriars Cemetery. (If you're new to my holiday photo posts and want to see what you've missed so far, you can type "Holiday Photos" into the Search/This Blog window above and find the previous posts) I showed you a lot of spooky photos but I forgot to add this last, far less sinister photo of apple blossoms fallen on the cobblestones. There were some creepy looking crypts but for the most part I find cemeteries peaceful places.


The last evening in Edinburgh, we decided to climb to the top of this ridge that towers over the city. I don't know what it's called. There was a fairly easy incline that went up from the bottom of the Royal Mile to a path that runs halfway up, along the top of the green rim you see. Of course we didn't take that path. Someone suggested we take the path that began behind the ridge, that it was easily accessible from some back streets that weren't far from our B & B a few miles away.


So we jumped on the bus and found the back path. You can see the very edge of those cliffs on the left hand side of the photo below. We also discovered that behind that ridge was another taller peak, center of the photo, called Arthur's Seat. William wanted to climb that instead. I told him "Absolutely not!"

So we took off for that first ridge and climbed up a nice wide smooth path to the front of the ridge you saw in the first photo. By now it had changed from misting to raining and daylight was moving towards twilight. Here's William walking ahead of me on the path.


After we'd walked all the way along the ridge to where we'd first seen it from the city below, William was still desperately pining to climb the higher peak. Honestly, I didn't think I was up for it but William wanted to climb it so badly I said we'd try. After all, we could always turn around if necessary, yes? Here's William ahead of me, climbing some of the sixty million rock steps that were built on the steepest part of the incline. I felt like we were Sam and Frodo, climbing up the hidden steps into the mountains of Mordor.


Here we are, unbelievably, at the top of the steps. But we're not there yet. The top third or so of the path wove up and around mounds and slopes. Below us you can see the ridge of cliffs we'd climbed first.
But we did it. Amazing! Well, maybe not so much for William, who is young and athletic and seemed as much at home as a mountain goat. Here's William at the very top.


But me, now THAT'S amazing! Here's proof of me up on top.



By then it was raining hard and the wind was fierce. You can hear the wind if you play William's video. He catches me in the view a couple of times.



The other people you see in the video told us they'd come up from the other direction and that their route had been STAIRLESS. Stairless sounded like a fantastic plan to me so we went down the other direction. It was a much gentler slop but it also went a much longer distance.

Towards the bottom of the path we came across these old ruins. Being from California, where grass has to be planted, it was amazing to see all this grass just growing everywhere. WILD grass. Also, the yellow flowering bushes in most of these photos is called Scotch Broom. I recognized it right away because it also grows all along the northern California coast. SCOTCH Broom, it's native here. I doubt they'll ever eradicate it in California even though there it's on the Noxious Weed list. Still, I've always found it pretty.


At the end of the trail we found ourselves back where we'd started earlier in the day at the bottom of the Royal Mile. Raining hard, most of the buses had stopped running. We were soaking wet and exhausted. Still, William took a moment to do an imitation of a statue.

We had to wait about forty minutes for a bus but we finally made it back to our B & B where we changed into warm dry clothes, grabbed a couple umbrellas, and found a nearby warm, cozy restaurant.


In the morning we got off to an early start and on the way to Waverly Station we saw the sun for the first time since our arrival. Despite all the gray and wet, the weather didn't dampen our love for this city of spires and closes. But, it was time to get on the train. Several hours later we would disembark and find ourselves in.......

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2 Comments:

Blogger another good thing said...

Hey1 i climbed Arthur's Seat too- with my kids a few years ago-- love Scotland.
Saw your post on Joshilyn's site and had to agree with the bed against the wall thing-- I guess I am as MONKISH as you... ;-)

7:04 AM  
Blogger She Who Flies said...

This post brought back many wonderful memories of my visits to Edinburgh. So glad you had a great time too!

3:49 AM  

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