So all is happy and wonderful here! And I'm about to go take in some Christmas pretties about the city (they are already starting to decorate!) and pick up my reserved copy of The Casual Vacancy from the central library... so the day is going to get even better!
But before I go, I want to share a few pictures from our hike up Arthur's Seat. We took soooo many, and I'll post far more than I ought to here (my brother always suggests that I 'edit' more and only post the very best, but I can't choose! I want to show them all!) Yesterday was so clear and crisp and the views were amazing... and it was the perfect time to play around with all the different settings on my camera. (I was going to write a bit about the geology and history of Arthur's Seat, but instead you can just look at the pictures. If you're interested, I've included a few links at the end that share all you need to know about the dormant volcano in the middle of Edinburgh.)
On the way to Arthur's seat...
...we passed under the most vibrant trees!
seriously charming trees...
and we passed by your average 12th century abbey
and Royal Palace... you know, just a normal day in Edinburgh.
Until we finally arrived at the foot of our destination! Arthur's Seat.
A quick stop before our climb ;)
and up we go!
It's steep and rocky!
and a little other worldly! (and I found an awesome "foliage" setting on my camera. I took about 15 pictures of these plants)
including several close ups...
others were inspired to paint lovely vistas
and we kept climbing up and up ("why'd you use the flash?")
until, we reached the top
we got a unique view of the castle
And Matt said, you go over there and I'll stay here and take your picture. So that's what we did.
After the climb, I was warm enough to take off my jacket! And I sat there a bit, just hanging out with the birds.
...high above my city!
Then I said to Matt, You jump and I'll take some pictures where it looks like you are flying above the city. The first one turned out...OK
The second was a bit better...
But the third one... it was unbeatable!
Then I started using the miniature setting and snapped this strange little gem
but it's hard to make that setting work when there are people in the shot.
So I went back to my regular setting. I think this should be Matt's new Facebook profile picture and I told him so.
I went up to two girls and said, would you mind taking a picture of us? And they didn't mind.
Back to mini!!!
Oooh! Then I told Matt to put out his hand and make it seem like he was holding up the Castle. I wish I could make the Castle stand out more... (When am I going to learn Photoshop?!) But look at that fancy edge blur I did in iPhoto!
Heading down. We saw the Palace from above.
And Matt helped me get through some muddy patches.
Then he said, let me have the camera, and I gave it to him, and he took this picture. And then he said, you should make this your next Facebook profile picture. And I just might.
Then I asked him to try to take a picture of the two of us. He took 3. This was the best one.
See? It was such a fun day! I'm guessing that only blood relatives made it through all these pictures (and their incredibly exciting explanations). But, if you got this far through the post, you definitely earned those links I promised. So go here and here to read about all about Arthur's Seat.