Today I spent a few hours walking/hiking in a couple parks in Edinburgh then around mid afternoon I started to head back south again. I decided I didn't have enough time to really enjoy the Scottish Highlands.
Most of my walking/hiking was done in the Holyrood Park, but I also spent a bit of time at the Calton Hill park. The Holyrood Park reminded me a lot of Nose Hill park in Calgary, but it is quite different in that it has some very prominent peaks which provide great panoramic views of the city and it has what is called the Salisbury Crags which look like an awesome place for rock climbing or bouldering except for the falling rocks. It was very hazy today in Edinburgh so it was hard to get a good view of the city and even harder to photograph it.
The Holyrood Park has a road that encircles it. Most of it is one way and within the park boundary. I began by parking my car on the back (east) side and then I walked to the top of the highest peak, which is called Aurthur's Seat (I don't know why). The first photo is looking to the east from about half way up the hill. My car is parked down along the road about a third of the way in from the left of the picture and the North Sea is just barley visible in the top of the picture.
This following photo was taken from the same spot as the one above, but this one is looking to the west towards the peak.
The larger stone structure on the left marks Aurthur's Seat and the smaller one on the right appears to be the base for a flag poll.
This is the top of the larger stone structure. The markings on it point out key landmarks in the area as well as its exact position.
Yup, the second structure must be for a flag poll.
Just above my head is Edinburgh Castle.
A slightly better picture of the castle, but there is an ever better one lower down.
A view of Aurthur's Seat from a lower area just to the south.
This is the Salisbury Crags. Aurthur's Seat is up and to the right.
A close up of the Salisbury Crags to give you an idea of its size. The little specs along the path at the base are people.
A view of Aurthur's Seat, the higher peak on the left, from in front of the Salisbury Crags.
As this sign says, the Salisbury Crags aren't very stable so rock climbing in the area is very limited. Another sign said "rock climbing by permission only".
The buildings in the foreground sure don't look real. They look more like cheap models, even in real life. The castle is off the in distance.
That's Calton Hill park, more on that later.
This is the best picture I could get of the Edinburgh Castle.
If you look closely at the corner of the rock you might notice some chalk. Some of that was left by the older fellow doing the bouldering on the right.
A close up of the older fellow doing some bouldering.
A shot of Holyrood Park from Calton Hill park. Aurthur's Seat is just to the left of center and the Salisbury Crags angle up towards the right.
This is the Nelson Monument in Calton Hill park (we saw this earlier from the Salisbury Crags). It was erected in 1807 to celebrate the life of Admiral Lord Nelson, the hero of Trafalgar.
This is the National Monument (we saw this earlier from the Salisbury Crags). It was designed by C.R. Cockerell in 1823 based on the Parthenon at Athens and was intended to commemorate the end of the Napoleonic Wars and for use as a National War Memorial Church, with catacombs in the substructure. The project was abandoned for lack of money in 1826.
I am now in York in north east England and will be here for at least 2 nights. There are several things I want to see here, so I may stay even longer. My next stop from here was going to be Cambridge, but there is a big folks festival going on there this week so it could be hard to find accommodations. I searched for hotels in Cambridge for the coming weekend about a week ago and couldn't understand why almost nothing was available, then I started hearing about the upcoming festival on the radio and it all made sense. I'm actually more interested in a little place called Duxford to the south of Cambridge which has a large Air Museum, so I may just have to look for accommodations on the other side of Duxford.