Arthur’s Seat is an extinct vulcano, it is over 250m above sea level, the first of it’s two words is the same as Arthur Vick, and it is the slope that we are now ascending. A path right in front of one of the British queen’s dwellings, Holyrood palace, splits into a left, into the hills, and right, up along the city’s edge. We have taken the latter option, assuming we would be on the top in no time. As soon as we started to walk up, a drizzle set in. It is the first rain that we got since our arrival more than a day earlier.
But the path is endless and in the meanwhile it has taken us from halfway up to all the way down again, all this time scratching the city’s edge of residential quarters. When we’ve finally reached the path that really takes us up, the drizzle becomes accompanied by wind – heavy, continual bouts that nearly tip us over the edge, it´s scary!
But then the top. A soft grassy slope, where we lean against the wind. My spit flies more than 10 meters. A short climb and we’re at the real top. We hold on firmly, because I can all too clearly imagine myself just flying straight into the Firth of Forth on the other side of town. We look out over a majestic view of a great Georgian city. The castle hill (another extinct volcano), the crazy-design Parliament, several churches, the disorder of Old Town and the rationality of an enlightenment-informed provincial capital in New Town. The monument hill, complete with Roman-style columns, and the cemetery just a stone’s throw away where David Hume has his final resting place.
A view over a Great City with capital letters, from a majestic hill top, what else does one desire? Well, a safe descent would be something. Because we still want to roam the Royal Mile, see other people eat haeggis (since I’m a vegetarian) and go in and out of tourist shops selling exactly what we expect them to sell: checkered scarves and kilts. Edinburgh is one of these cities that are comfortable, not too busy about themselves and make you want to stay a bit more. To have a Scottish ale and wonder about what exactly it is that makes Scottish people different from the English, and subtle yet sure difference. And that’s just what we’ll do when we’ve come down from Arthur’s Seat.