Camelot

We have been trying to take advantage of the nice weather in Edinburgh with some outdoor activities. On Saturday, we decided to hike Arthur’s Seat, a hill in Holyrood Park in the middle of Edinburgh.

We walked from our flat on a lovely day and entered the Park near the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

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Palace of Holyroodhouse
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Palace of Holyroodhouse
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Palace of Holyroodhouse
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Palace of Holyroodhouse
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Palace of Holyroodhouse
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Palace of Holyroodhouse
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Palace of Holyroodhouse

I obviously could not stop taking photos of the beautiful gate and palace grounds. In my research I found out that the Palace of Holyroodhouse is Her Majesty the Queens official residence in Scotland, as well as the home of Mary Queen of Scots. What a great find, definitely somewhere I will be going back to for a tour and more exploration! but we soldiered on for the hike.

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It’s about to get steeper
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Gone to seed, but still pretty thistle
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Weathered fence

Our first breather was a stop at the ruins of St. Anthony’s Chapel. According to records, the Chapel existed by 1426, but was perhaps built as early as the 1300s and was out of use by the mid 1500s.

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First glimpse of ruins
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St. Anthony’s Chapel
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St. Anthony’s Chapel
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Sam at St. Anthony’s Chapel

For some reason, while standing in this doorway, Sam shouted “I am the King of England”. I have no idea why and am not even sure how he even knew that phrase, but I guess he was inspired by his surroundings.

We continued on until the next good stopping point on a plateau with a great view and a nice breeze to cool down.

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Heading up
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Good views
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Good views

Our last push took us to the top, Arthur’s Seat. Geologic origins of Arthur’s Seat are volcanic and its name is attributed to the legend of King Arthur, but I am not exactly sure why? The peak was the location of ancient hill forts and more recent history involves a possible connection to Burke and Hare, the Edinburgh serial murderers who sold their victim’s bodies to medical schools for profit, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is also sometimes mentioned as a possible location for the mythological location of King Arthur’s Camelot. This article talks a bit more about the unknowns surrounding the peak’s name and history.

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We made it! Arthur’s Seat
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Arthur’s Seat
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Arthur’s Seat
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Sam’s victory pose, Arthur’s Seat

While we were taking in the views we heard some lovely bagpipe music and saw a group of bagpipe players on a grassy area below the peak. As we were about to begin our descent we  noticed the bagpipers were making their way up the peak! I am serious when I say that I rarely luck out with such great timing. I scrambled to climb back up to take photos of them and put my hand down on the ground as I climbed right into a prickly sharp thistle plant, not my last injury of the day, but hey, I had to get in a good position for photos!

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Hard work getting your bagpipes uphill
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A lone bagpiper
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and then there were two
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The whole group
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They drew quite a crowd

We took a different route out of the Park down a long winding set of stone stairs. Here is where my 2nd injury of the day occurred. There were areas of loose gravel and I am not what you would call sure footed, so down I went. Luckily my backpack broke some of the fall and my hand took the worst of it. Jeff had Sam’s hand, he knows my lack of grace, and he seemed more worried about the camera around my neck. National Health Insurance could heal me, but what about the camera he said, yep.

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Staircase down
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Had my fall somewhere around here

Jeff took Sam to explore the Salisbury Crags and I went home to take a hot bath. The Salisbury Crags have a history connected to the Scottish Enlightenment when great thinkers hiked them to gain inspiration. That path was later named the Radical Road by Sir Walter Scott who suggested poor weavers be given a public works project to pave the road after the Radical Rising of 1820.  Jeff got a few last good photos. Bye, bye Camelot!

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Salisbury Crags
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Salisbury Crags
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Last view, Edinburgh Castle

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