Arthur's Seat

I took this photo of Arthur’s Seat  - Edinburgh’s extinct volcano - and the famous Salisbury Crags (a sill which was tilted later by a geological fault) from the Castle ramparts at dusk on the first day of the first weekend my partner and spent in Edinburgh, not long before we went in search of, and duly found, a good evening meal.  We had only had one day there so far but that was enough for us decide that Edinburgh was our favourite city, and I think we both still hold that opinion.  We felt the mantle of history over the city as we looked across to the Castle from Princes Street, and felt it even more as we looked at the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish crown jewels).  We looked across to the ancient Kingdom of Fife, we loved the architecture of the Old Town.

This trip was before I started my degree so, thinking about it now, the geology rather than the scenery would only have meant something to me in the very broadest of terms. One of the joys of studying through the UK's Open University is that you can study a subject from a standing start rather than needing to have pre-existing knowledge of your chosen subject.  I had intended to do a life sciences degree, by the way, but I got fascinated by the Earth science parts of the interdisciplinary foundation course (S103 Discovering science, for those who remember it!).

We have been back to Edinburgh a number of times since then.  We have walked the circuit of Holyrood Park and decided that walking up to the peak of Arthur’s Seat is for fitter, younger people than we felt ourselves to be that day.  We have looked at, and photographed, the geological details of the extinct volcano and we have done the same with the Long Row lava flow.  We have explored Castle Rock, the remains of a secondary volcanic cone, and looked across at it from Salisbury Crags and from Calton Hill.  We have visited the Britannia, we have walked down the Royal Mile.

We also have several photos of the same vista as this photo, taken from the same spot on more recent visits with a better camera.  But you know what?  They just don’t have the resonance of this day or this picture.  This one really means something to me.


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