Jake likes to climb things. Trees, ladders, mountains – you name it, he has some vague intention to scale it. Last year, we climbed up Mount Snowdon together, in a bid to enjoy inclines and trail mix as a pair. Despite his positivity, I am still not a fan of propelling myself up various items with only my legs. But lucky for Jake, the great benefit of climbing up stuff is the incredible views you’re treated to at the end, views that I can exploit for my photographs.
I shouldn’t make it sound like I wasn’t excited to head up Arthur’s Seat. It was my idea, actually. It felt wrong for there to be this natural wonder so close to the city and for me to stay wandering around the old streets and not even attempt to raise my heart rate and get a few green pictures to complement the sandy brick churches now sitting on my SD card.
The bottom of Arthur’s Seat was only a twenty-minute walk from the old town, but I wanted to get there early to have enough time to reach the top before sunset. I researched possible routes online. “It says leave two hours for this one!” I told Jake, urging him to eat dinner faster so we could get moving.
Jake had never climbed Arthur’s Seat, but he has spent plenty of time in Edinburgh with people who have, so he was unconcerned. “It’s fine. Relax. Pass me the prawn crackers.” (We were in a Thai place).
Eventually, we did reach the bottom of the mound, stomachs full of massaman curry and bag full of cheap cans of Pimms. The light was already incredible. There was a perfect golden glow over the hills and I was itching to press the shutter button. We started climbing up one of the shorter routes, Jake surging ahead and me catching up in bursts between pictures. We stood on a rocky outcrop for while and took some photos together; we used to be in the habit of taking lots of couple selfies (stick with me), but recently, we’ve kept it to bad selfies just for each other and stopped taking photos that might actually see the light of day. I wanted to get some nice pictures of us together. I like taking pictures of landscapes but I feel like they’ll be less sentimental in twenty years than sweet photos of us gazing lovingly at each other (or the lens).
We kept climbing to the top, though it didn’t take that much longer; after stressing that we might need two hours as the websites suggested, we made it to the ‘summit’ in only twenty-five minutes.
As we perched at the top with the other people who’d made the trek in the hope of seeing a beautiful sunset across Edinburgh, the wind seriously buffeted us. We cracked open a can of Pimms. Golden hour turned into the actual sunset, and, even though it was not that peaceful being battered by wind while listening to drunk people talk about the amount of beer they have left, it was so nice to spend some time outside and out of the city.
As I said in this week’s Get Snappy, it’s been a weird couple of weeks. Nothing especially dramatic or terrible has happened, I’ve just been feeling a bit odd and anxious about my friendships, my work and my future. I’m pretty sure this comes with the territory of being twenty-three, so I’m not concerned, but it was still so soothing to hang out with Jake at the top of a hill, if you’d believe it. Jake works away a lot during the summer at various festivals and other events and, while I am happy that we both make having independent experiences a priority, I miss him when we’re apart! There’s a particular kind of relaxation that comes from being held by someone you love and after a week of taking care of other things and people, I was ready to nestle into his arms and let some of the stress melt away.
Wow, could this be any cheesier? This is why I don’t write much about my relationship on the blog, because it will show you guys what a soppy person I really am!
Edinburgh is a gorgeous city, and it’s only made more beautiful by having beautiful hills, parks and sea a short walk away. As with one of my favourite days in Cornwall last year, I’m glad that I saw the intersection of clear day, warm weather and the right time for sunset and then made it priority to get to the top of Arthur’s Seat with my camera and my sweet boyfriend. There’s something inherently calming about being outside; I’m grateful that after a stressful week that there are beautiful natural landmarks I can visit, and that there’s someone to do it with me.