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Archive for July 10th, 2003

UK Trip Day 14: July 10, 2003

July 10, 2003 @ 16:19 By: gordon Category: Travelling, UK Trip 2003

This morning, I thought it might be nice to head off to somewhere else for a day excursion, so I packed my backpack and headed to the train station. Once there, I asked the GNER chap for suggestions for a day excursion that would be along a scenic route. He suggested Pitlochry, which is a few stops past Sterling, another place I was considering. The route he suggested would pass over the Forth Bridge, a massive rail bridge built in the 1800’s over the Firth of Forth.

The weather in Edinburgh was kind of grey and wet so I thought a train trip would be great. However, the next train wasn’t for over an hour, and I didn’t feel like waiting around that long in the train station.

So, I decided to climb Arthur’s Seat, a massive volcanic structure overlooking Holyrood Palace and much of Edinburgh.

Arthur’s Seat is inside Holyrood Park and has several paths leading to the top. I walked with three Canadians from Kamloops, BC, for a while, but the decided to walk around it, rather than continue to the top.

The weather was starting to look threatening again, but there was nothing in the TAF (Terminal Area Forecast) for Edinburgh airport when I checked. So, I continued to the top.

On the way up, I took a lot of pictures (see my gallery) and saw a small rabbit part ways up.

At the top, I found two cairns, one with a metal disk on the top with a compass rose and arrows pointing to many of the landmarks visible from the top of Arthur’s Seat. The other cairn was an Ordnance Survey Benchmark.

The wind at the top was incredible as was the scenary. In the distance could be seen rain falling on other parts of Scotland, but none over Edinburgh. That changed, soon enough as a wall of rain proceeded along the Firth of Forth out over the ocean. The rain was blowing almost horizontally, meaning that my whole left side was soaked. I sought shelter in the lee of some bushes along with a couple of ther people.

Once the wind and rain had died down, I continued exploring the other peaks and eventually worked my way back down. The trip down was rather exciting because I was basically making my own path, rather than following some of the more established paths. At one point, I slipped on the wet grass and slip for a few feet. That was rather exciting.

When I finally reached the bottom, my shoes were squishing with every step and my jeans were soaked at the bottoms the legs and along the left side.

I walked around the perimeter of Holyrood Palace and headed up the Royal Mile, pausing only for an ice cream cone along the way.

Back at the hotel, I hung my wet clothes up, dried my shoes with the hair drier and then found something dry to wear and headed to the World Famous Maggie Dicksons Pub in Grassmarket.

Maggie Dickson had a rather grim life, up to the day she was hanged for breaking the 1690 law against concealing a pregnancy.

After being hanged, her friends took her coffin on its way to the graveyard and stopped for a meal while en route. They heard noises coming from the coffin and upon opening it, they discovered that she was in fact still alive.

Having been declared dead, The Powers That Be at the time decided that this must have been the result of an Act of God and who were they to second guess him? So, she spent another forty years living in Edinburgh and ran a pub.

I had a great steak and a fine pint of McEwan’s 80/- Ale, which is locally made.

The picture will be available when I can get them uploaded. The Internet cafe I’m using seems to be having problems uploading my pictures tonight.

Update: The pictures are now finally online.