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It’s hard to pick a favorite day in Scotland, but this day was one of the best. Everyone we talked to said we needed to go to Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park–an extinct volcano, it rises up next to the city like a protecting wing. “Climb it.” Everyone said. “You won’t regret it.”

Though our Netherlands-legs almost didn’t make it (biking uses different muscles than hiking, apparently), we discovered that they were all telling the truth. It was spectacular. Gorgeous. Wild and impressive. And it had some great views.

At the top! Success!

There are several paths up, and a few different destinations, ranging from relaxed strolling to vigorous hiking. We aimed all the way to the top, so it was a bit vigorous! But seriously–that countryside, that bright green dotted with duksy brown and golden yellow, those magnificent views of the city surrounded by water, the fresh wind in my face… it was gorgeous.

 

We went up one side and down the other, ending the hike in Duddingston, an old village nestled between the mountain and a loch. The Sheeps’ Heid Inn slaked our thirst and let our legs rest, and the sun peeked out as we left. What a lovely day.

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