21 Mar That Time I Followed Kate Up a(n extinct) Volcano
I’m on the constant lookout for signs and serendipity (as you can probably tell from my previous post), and knowing that about myself, I still say that our trip to Edinburgh was borderline magical.
As evidence, I present our hike up Arthur’s Seat.
Which is really is an extinct volcano. We had an exit plan and everything.
The weather had been gray-ish and cold-ish all weekend, but when we set out on a sleepy Sunday morning — hardly a soul passed me on my short walk to Kate’s hotel — the sun had come out shining against the big, blue sky. The walk down the Royal Mile was easy and we found ourselves in Serenity Cafe for breakfast near Holyrood Palace. I ordered the traditional breakfast, keen to fill up on fuel so I wasn’t hungry at the top. (Bonus — Serenity has an excellent mission, which I encourage you to read about. Stop by if you’re in Edinburgh!)
Then, off to conquer Arthur’s Seat. Sun still shining at 10am (a detail worth noting in the UK!), we set out on the paved footpath, soon found ourselves on a packed-dirt trail, then couldn’t help ourselves and ventured up and away to be oversized billy goats along rock-stairs carved between fields of tall grass.
We climbed up and up — nothing ever much more difficult than a wide staircase, so long as you watched out for particularly muddy patches. We stopped at every new ridge and overlook to marvel at the beautiful weather and the newest view across the city or the sea (or whatever body of water that is. I’m sticking with sea because it’s poetic gosh-darnit.) And we kept feeding off each other’s delight at how much we were enjoying ourselves.
And when we reached the top we found the best surprise of all: at some point — sometime circa 1991 if my office furniture fashion estimation is to be believed — someone hauled a cushioned chair and placed it at the top of this volcano.
Arthur’s. Literal. Seat.
Look at that smile on my face and you can tell how tickled I am by the pun I found at the top of Edinburgh.
Here’s Arthur’s Metaphorical Seat:
We started down the south side of the mountain, which was STILL IN THE BEAUTIFUL SUNSHINE YOU GUYS. We’d each packed our respective activities — Kate’s sketchbook and my knitting — and perched ourselves out of the wind, but still in the sun, overlooking Edinburgh and the sea and a pee-wee soccer game playing out below. And we didn’t speak again until the sun finally surrendered to the incoming clouds and the wind shifted and I couldn’t feel my knitting fingers anymore.