Skywatch Friday - the skirl of the pipes
It was at about this point in the ascent that we first heard them, and our hearts sank. Well, two of our hearts did at least. I daresay that for my daughter's French exchange partner the climb up Arthur's Seat was enlivened by the sound of bagpipes. For my daughter and myself, climbing the hill was to have been a welcome escape from Edinburgh's background soundtrack: year-round residents sometimes feel beset by bagpipes skirling with greater or lesser degrees of musicality throughout the city centre. And believe me, the lesser variety is not pleasant.
Round about here, we realised that the piping was coming from the very top of the hill, from the little bristling pimple in the shot above. The bristles are people standing on the topmost rocky outcrop of the Seat. Various dips in the terrain conceal a fair bit of ground to be covered before the last push, Everest-like, to the summit. By now we could hear that there was not just one piper, but several. Our Scottish hearts sank further. Not just busking, but group busking.
Only it wasn't. Instead of buskers we found this group of exiled Canadian Scots, piping their hearts out on their Homecoming visit. We sat (because the wind was so strong that we could barely stand upright) and listened to the reels and airs and laments. and felt our curmudgeonly hearts melt.
And talking of gales - note what a practical garment the traditional heavyweight Scottish kilt is. The kilts in the shot above are barely moving in the wind, but the woman at the right was swaying perilously on the edge of the rocks.
Visit Skywatch Friday for more skies from around the world.