Wednesday, June 29, 2011

an afternoon in Roslin, and an evening on Arthur's Seat.

Our original plan with one of Jeremy's two days off this week was to go to see Holyrood Palace and Holyrood Abbey here in Edinburgh, but after we got ready and went to double-check the website about entry fees we saw that it is apparently closed for another week or so, I suppose someone important is in residence just now, since the Royal Family still uses the palace for their personal uses.
Anyway, so with that plan out the window we decided to use the afternoon to hop the bus down to Roslin to see Rosslyn Chapel and the small town of Roslin itself. It's quite an easy jaunt down there, just taking the number fifteen Lothian bus for about thirty minutes and it spills you out right in the middle of Roslin, the chapel being another five minute walk away.
It was a gorgeous, sun-filled day, warm with sweet breezes that come just as the heat from the sun begins to get under your skin. We walked down to the chapel, catching glimpses of it from behind fences and stone walls--yet the glimpses we caught made us pause to think whether we wanted to spend the seven or so pounds each to go in yet, since it is such an easy trip. The whole outside of the chapel was covered with scaffolding for renovations, and since they don't allow you to take photos inside, the outside was going to be my only opportunity to document our visit--and scaffolding is seriously a pain to photoshop out. So we decided to walk around the grounds of the chapel, outside the stone boundary wall, and enjoy our afternoon in the country.

After spending sometime laughing with each other and sighing at the views we walked the five minutes back into town and sat in the outdoor area with a couple pints and more laughing and more talking was the order of the afternoon. As usual, it was so nice to get out and just be with each other, to talk, to laugh, to reminisce, to make plans, and mostly just to love each other.

After our pints in the 'beer garden' area of the original Roslin Hotel we crossed the road to another little hotel with a bar area. This time we sat inside, in a large sun-let room with dark greens and blues in the plaid carpet and rich window treatments. I picked the table in front of the back center window which illuminated us like royalty--especially since we were the only two in the whole pub. When Jeremy brought our drinks, he also brought a chess set that was sitting on the bar just waiting to be used. I personally dislike chess with a pretty good-sized passion, though I've tried liking it with a brother and sister-in-law who love it and are avid players--I'm really just completely rubbish at it, seriously, rubbish. But Jeremy made me play anyway, and though I nearly lost within the first five moves (Jeremy found a way for me to block him) and then I proceeded to make stupid moves for the rest of the game and get frustrated with myself and the game--all the while muttering under my breath 'I hate this game'--despite all of that, I enjoyed myself. I enjoyed being the only two people in the whole bar, sitting at the far window, back-lit by the afternoon sun, and playing a game together. Again, the idea of just being together seems to simple, but it is just so good too.

We came back to Edinburgh then, another thirty-minute bus ride past the Pentland Hills, through Morningside and Bruntsfield, back to Tollcross where we had decided before we left to stop at another pub we had been meaning to try: The Cloisters. This pub is pretty much attached to the beautiful cathedral that is nestled right next to it, and the building may be just as old as well. Apparently, they have an amazing selection of cask ales which Jeremy enjoyed sampling, and the atmosphere in that place made them taste somehow better. We had our own little table tucked away in a corner between a window looking out onto the cathedral and the spiral staircase that lead to the basement. We stayed there a while then finally ventured back home to have dinner.

After dinner, and an episode of 'Game of Thrones', Jeremy looked at me then out the window and said, "It's gorgeous out there. You wanna hike up Arthur's Seat and watch the sunset? If we leave now we'll easily catch it."
How could I say no? So we packed up a backpack of essentials and made our way down to Holyrood Park, crosses its green spaces and paths and made our way up the extinct volcano of Arthur's Seat. We decided to stop just below the summit so we could have a little area to ourselves instead of having to share the area with the other people who thought it'd be a good idea to go up to watch the sunset. It was lovely to watch the colors deepen and the light fade as the sun set behind the city and the Firth of Forth--oddly setting to the North here. We could see all the way to the Highlands, their high and craggy peaks visible beyond the Forth Bridge. As the sun disappeared, the coolness of the night became more of a noticeable chill and we pulled on our jackets, and Jeremy pulled out a flask of whisky for a nip to keep us warm. It really is amazing what just a mouthful of whisky can do for your body temperature.
When the sun was gone and only remnants of its brilliance were left streaking the sky in a kind of tribute to its former glory we began the hike back down.

It was a truly lovely day, and one that Jeremy made sure to point out was all for the most part spur-of-the-moment, yet just as full and exciting as any day planned weeks ahead of time. Sometimes his laid back attitude definitely does trump my planned and organized one in ways that I don't expect, but love to see.


[Skye still coming soon, it's ridiculous how many photos I took and how much we saw, I want to do it all justice.]


Amethyst said...

This post caused stark envy to weigh hungrily on my mind. I miss you very much, and I'm proud of your pathways, though I do not now walk with you.

Ellar said...

Do not ask Kiyat to play chess. *duly noted* Incidentally, though, you do look pretty hot in that photo with the board. It's that stunningness you have...