Free day today to do whatever we want! It was May 21st and me and the group of amazing people I spent the day with really made use out of our day off to explore more of Scotland. We got a head start on the day by first going to do Arthur’s Seat Hike. Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano that is 250.5 meters (or 822 feet) high. It is the highest point in Edinburgh. We had to walk a few miles to get there but it was a beautiful day outside and we got to enjoy all the scenery that we passed. Before heading down to the base of the mountain we stopped for a moment to take in the beautiful scene of the mountain we were about to hike up.
Making the fairly steep and rocky climb up the mountain was so rewarding when we finally reached the top. Once we got up there, there was a cloud surrounding us. But it soon passed and gave way to sunny skys, allowing us to see for miles. From the top, you can see panoramic views of the entire city of Edinburgh, including Holyrood Palace where the Queen lives when she is in Scotland.
After taking in the scenes that surrounded us we found a grassy area and sat down to eat none other than a mouth-watering Pret lunch that we picked up before the hike. Eating a delicious, fresh sandwich on top of an extinct volcano that is the highest point in Edinburgh with a beautiful view of the city and bright sunny skies.. it doesn’t get much better than that. As I was sitting on Arthur’s Seat that day trying to grasp the breathtaking views I was seeing, I realized this was the most beautiful place I have ever been. The combination of natural land overlooking a man made city was so spectacular that it was almost numbing. The rush you feel when you finally get to the top, along with everything you can see into the distance is something that cannot be put into words. We took out time finishing up our lunch and roaming around the top of the mountain trying to savor every last moment. Before we left we made sure to leave our mark by making an ‘I’ in rocks for the University of Illinois ILLINI!
Finally we decided it was time to head back down. Once we got to the bottom what could be better than an ice cream truck sitting right there?! We couldn’t pass up the opportunity so we all got some delicious twin cones.
We continued our day by walking past Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament building. Then we kept walking up the Royal Mile for, yes, more shopping. And a little entertainment of course.
And of course, along our walk we came across a guy playing bagpipes. After all, what would Scotland be without bagpipes?
Since this was such a great day and we did so much, I am going to continue our walk up the Royal Mile and the rest of the day in tomorrow’s post.
TO BE CONTINUED…..