To the top of Arthur’s Seat

To conclude my first week in Edinburgh, I climbed to the top of Arthur’s Seat. Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of the group of hills that form Holyrood Park near the Palace of Holyroodhouse (where Queen Elizabeth II spends at least one week each summer and where members of the Royal Family stay while in Edinburgh!).

Here are some interesting facts about Arthur’s Seat:

1. It was formed about 2 million years ago when a volcano (which that has been extinct for about 350,000 million years) was eroded by a glacier; the glacier moved from west to east and exposed crags, or cliffs in its ‘wake’.

2. While myths include that the name Arthur’s Seat refers to the presence of the legendary King Arthur, the more common belief is that the name derives from the Gaelic phrase ard na saigheid which means “hill of the archers”.

3. Arthur’s Seat has been used as a setting in literature and film, and most recently it was present in the romance novel and film in 2011, One Day with Anne Hathaway.

Climbing Arthur’s Seat gave me an exquisite view of the city of Edinburgh. I saw the beautiful hilly landscape of Holyrood Park, the city’s center and the University of Edinburgh to the west, and the Firth of Fourth to the east. I am very glad I braved the strong winds and climbed to the very top because of the view I gained from there. I definitely plan to make that climb again during this semester!

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