Ah, Edinburgh. I have fond memories of this wee city, the capital of Scotland. I had the good fortune of living there for all too short a time – only three months – but during the brightest summer in recent history I’m told. I was there to work, but spent most weekends exploring the surroundings.
One of the centerpieces, both figuratively and literally, is the Edinburgh Castle. The summer I was there saw the release of J.K. Rowling’s last (or perhaps second to last) Harry Potter book. Though born in England Rowling called Edinburgh her home and so there was a grand book launch at the castle the likes of I’ve never seen before. The castle (needless to say) sits on a hill in the center of town and the line of children and their parents stretched all the way out of the castle and down the narrow streets:
The above photo was taken from the top of Arthur’s Seat, the rocky outcrop looming over the city. Here’s a view to give you an idea. It was a beautiful place to hike up to and contemplate life.
The Seat hovers above the Salisbury Crags, here seen from below to give you an idea of how high up I was:
And the castle a bit closer:
Ah, this inspires a bit of poetry, like the opening lines of Jason Fenton’s appropriately named “Edinburgh Castle:”
Roots of stone
rise unfettered out of the earth;
crenellations of cobble
burnish with pride that cascades
into the Firth of Forth.
Okay, let’s leave town so I can show you a gorgeous photo of the Ballachulish Mountains at Loch Linnhe, a half day drive north of Edinburgh towards the Isle of Skye:
More about Edinburgh Castle can be read here. If you go try to do it in August when they have the “Fringe,” a festival of art and music performances that fill the halls and the streets for a full month.
That’s it for now. This is just a teaser as I’ll be out visiting a bunch of old rocks standing in the (likely) rain. I promise more stories and photos when I return.
David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.