We are climbing Jacob's Ladder--all 209 steps of it. Rising up from a small lane in Duddingston, it is my favorite staircase of all time and all places outside of the Roman Steps and those that lead to my bedroom. It takes us to the high meadows towards Arthur's Seat--the 823 foot high lumpy volcanic crag-- highest of all seven craggy 'hula' which make the "tine of Auld Reekie" today. Hard aside Edinburgh's Holyrood Park, on beyond the Scottish Parliament (new) and Holyrood castle (old) it is viewpoint central for anyone wanting to see there from here. Arthur's Seat itself is a hearty, brief climb and where I first heard the apt British term, "I'm a bit puffed" from a nice woman in a narrow wool skirt and pearls who beat my friend Lucie (who isn't called Sierra by chance) and me up by a whole minute, although she pronounced it with a Scottish twang as "poofed" which means something else altogether.
We are in thrall to this inviting open space and climb from every entry point-- from the bottom via the Radical road, from the center via Salisbury Crags and from our car parked nicely by Dunsappy Loch to picnic on Dunsappy Crag. This walk from tiny, exclusive Duddingston on the far side, makes a most excellent to and fro destination if it includes the Sheep Heid Inn which is the oldest pub in Scotland but still serves good beer and good food, although I for one, have never taken advantage of its skittles alley.
If we do the walk the other way around,descending to Duddingston to have dinner at the Sheep Heid, wandering post- meal to gaze at the tiny loch and imagine the houses on the other side of the wall; we wander back to Holyrood by the Innocent Railway, flashlights (torches) in hand for the early winter dark.
Under date April 20, 1826, a correspondent to Hone's "Every-Day Book " gives an amusing account of gathering May dew on the first of May:On the very summit of Arthur's Seat a moving mass was to be. seen, dressed in all the colours of the rainbow, many of the male sex in kilt, all dancing round a May-pole. Whisky, or mountain dew, rather than May, was in repute. Groups were to be observed on knoll and flat, music and dancing were the order of the morn among all.Under date April 20, 1826, a correspondent to Hone's "Every-Day Book " gives an amusing account of gathering May dew on the first of May. On the very summit of Arthur's Seat a moving mass was to be. seen, dressed in all the colours of the rainbow, many of the ...
From The Celtic Magazine -