Edinburgh; A city of Shifting Light & Changing Skies

'Of all the places for a view, this Calton Hill is perhaps the best;
Since you can see the Castle, which you lose from the Castle,
and Arthur's Seat, which you cannot see from Arthur's Seat'
                                                                                             - Robert Louis Stevenson

Calton Hill sits in the heart of Edinburgh & is marked as a UNESCO world heritage site.
It boasts some of the most spectacular views of Edinburgh.

Taking in Salisbury Crags, Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh Castle, Old Town and the Firth of Forth, the summit is also home to some magnificent monuments & Observatories.

Calton Hill is a volcanic rockbase formed millions of years ago from lava flow by the volcano, Arthur's Seat. The Hill is bounded by faults & an area of basalt which can be seen near the National Monument, that has been polished to a shine by the action of ice over time.

One of the prominent monuments in Edinburgh is the National Monument, which sits atop Calton Hill & can be seen from almost anywhere along Princes st & Royal Mile.

The national Monument was originally built to commemorate the Scottish Servicemen who died in the Napoleonic Wars.
It was modelled on the Parthenon in Athens & construction began in 1826. However, funds ran out a few years later & the monument has been left unfinished. Satirically dubbed, Edinburgh's Shame, plans to complete the building never really get much support.

The Nelson Monument, designed to look like an upturned telescope, is in honour of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson & his victory of the Spanish & French Fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 & his subsequent death in the same battle. 

Built in 1815, a Time Ball was added in 1853 which ships used to set their chronometers.
Calton Hill is a popular spot for locals to enjoy various festivals & a great spot to view the Hogmanay fireworks & some events from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival that happens in August.

One event that I am looking forward to is the Beltane Fire Festival at the end of April. Celebrating the beginning of the summer season with ancient Gaelic traditions. 

One of the things I love most about Calton Hill, is that even in summer, you can still find a quiet spot & if you step away from the monuments, you can capture the vast & beautifully haunting essence of the Scottish landscape. 

Don't let the weather deter you from exploring, the moody skies, patches of snow, bursts of sunlight are what gives Edinburgh its magic & life.
Its also creates a beautiful atmosphere to any photograph.

And to quote Billy Connolley, 'in Scotland, there's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.'


All images are used with permission of Bella McRae
©Bella McRae 2018

References not linked in blog;
Calton Hill Geology



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