Let's Limp Up Arthur's Seat!

by - 3:00 PM


*KRACK*
That's not the kind of sound you want to hear, especially not if it's coming from inside your knee. My left knee was exactly where this sound was coming from on a sunny day near the start of March. I ignored it, until I couldn't walk anymore. I went to the doctor, who told me not to cycle, climb stairs or climb mountains. Then I went to Edinburgh and ignored all of my doctor's advice when an American guy asked me: 'Wanna limp up Arthur's Seat with me?'

Arthur's Seat fascinated me from the second I arrived in Scotland. No, I could not bend my knee properly and no, I couldn't get up a single flight of stairs without being in agony. But I just couldn't say 'no' to Zach, whom I met on my first night in Edinburgh. He, and I kid you not, also had an injury to his left knee. We spent that night laughing about our situation, talked how much we'd like to climb Arthur's Seat and how we'd be pathetically limping if we tried. We laughed some more, then decided to climb Arthur's Seat the very next day. This was probably the very worst idea the both of us had in all five days of our trip, but we were stubborn. So early in the morning of the 24th of March, two limping figures could be seen on the slopes of Arthur's Seat. This is the story of how they made it to the top. More or less.

We started of trying to be smart. 'We could take the bus to the foot, so we won't completely ruin our knees before we get there,' Zach suggested. Of course I agreed to that, half-sensible as I am. Zach had a bus plan and we totally knew where the bus stop was - or so we thought. After walking up and down Victoria Street ten times, we still hadn't found it. Then all of a sudden we did find it, and our bus was already waiting there! So we sprinted as fast as our busted knees allowed us - and missed our bus. We sighed and decided to walk. Holyrood Park couldn't be that far away, right?


In fact, we had a relaxed walk down the Royal Mile and reached Holyrood Park without either of us dying from excruciating pain in the knee. I became excited. Really excited. I just wanted to run straight up to the top of that mountain. There was only one problem: which path were we supposed to take?
That's when we discovered that the Scottish aren't very fond of signs for hikers. And since being sensible about the bus had brought us nothing, we decided to walk up the first path we saw, a path that went almost straight up. I know, I know. Not the best move if your knee is hurting. But I was impatient and almost ran up the first few meters of the path.


The path was both literally and figuratively breathtaking. Literally because it felt like trying to walk up a wall, figuratively because the view was freaking amazing. Secretly I was pretty happy with all the photo opportunities it gave me, as they helped me hide the fact that I have zero stamina and needed to pause and rest my knee every thirty meters.
After about fifteen minutes, the path flattened out. Zach and I were relieved. It felt so good to be walking on flat surface again. The road followed the side of the mountain, curved to the left, out of sight. We were sure it'd go up the last rocky part, but as we rounded the corner, the path went down again. Down and down and farther down.
I panicked a little. This couldn't be right, could it? Why was there no way to get up this final bit of stupid rock? Completely confused and slightly worried, I kept walking. Zach was ahead of me and asked a lady walking her dog how we'd get to the top of Arthur's Seat. She looked at us with a hint of amusement and said: 'Down this path, up the stairs, up the other mountain.'
Turns out we hadn't been climbing Arthur's Seat at all. We were standing on the Salisbury Crags. Mind. Blown. I felt so freaking stupid. At the exact same moment my knee gave me a clear signal that it wasn't too happy with all the climbing I was doing. But going back was no option. Going back is never an option. 


We walked on and were faced with steep, steep stairs. Oh, and also a girl barrelling down the rocky side of the mountain, but she didn't seem to notice us and quickly disappeared behind some prickly bushes. Zach and I exchanged confused looks once again, then walked on. My knee cracked every now and then, but I ignored it as usual. Soon we were on a... let me call if a platform. Or a little field that was actually level. I couldn't help but twirl around, vlog and be way too happy there. I also decided that this was the perfect occasion to explain Zach the plot of Trainspotting. I did a bad job, mostly because I still haven't seen the end and I was way too distracted by the person who was watching it with me when I first saw it, but I made up for my lack of knowledge with pure excitement. I'm not sure how much Zach enjoyed this, because he soon asked me if my knee was doing okayish enough to climb the last bit of Arthur's Seat. My knee was not okayish, but I didn't tell him. I wanted to continue, but was a bit wary since I couldn't see a clear path leading up to the top. There was also still no sign telling us where to go, so we did what we shouldn't have done with two busted knees: Climb straight up the last rocky part! My knee was killing me, my feet were not happy in my sneakers anymore and my camera almost died crashing into a rock as I awkwardly climbed up and up.

Then, all of a sudden, we were surrounded by other tourists, all circling around this big white stone marking the top of Arthur's Seat. Apparently the easy way up Arthur's Seat was just on the other side of a slope we'd seen when we started out. It's safe to say we took the scenic and painful route, but we got there anyway. And it felt awesome.


We stayed at the top of Arthur's Seat for ages and left our names on that big white stone. Because that's how wannabe street artists roll. I was freezing, my feet were hurting and my shoes were falling apart. Yet I hadn't been as happy in 2017 yet as I was when I sat on a ledge in Scotland with my painful knee in an awkward angle while eating old Skittles. After all the pain and confusion it was still more than worth it. Did I enjoy my hike with this much pain? Not really. Did I feel like I'd die on that freaking mountain? Definitely. But would I do it again? Anytime!

x Envy

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24 Fellow Ramblers

  1. What a fascinating post! We visited Edinburgh recently but we're gutted that we didn't have time to climb Arthur's Seat! It's as beautiful as you are mad for climbing it with a bad knee hahaha!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Jessica & James | Food & Baker

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    1. Hahaha well thank you for commenting! It's worth the clumb, it really is.

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  2. As someone who has dislocated their knee I know the cracking sound you speak of very well! Climbing a mountain with a busted knee is a hell of an achievement! Well done! Xx

    Itsallzara.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. It's a sound you never forget, isn't it? Thank you!

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  3. Great post! Sounds like such a lovely trip and your pictures are beautiful 💖😊

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    1. Thank you! The trip was amazing, best 5 days of my 2017 so far :)

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  4. Wow well the pictures are beautiful, and I'd never guess you were in pain! I've been struggling with knee issues for the past year (ugh) so I definitely relate! Glad you didnt die on the mountain! Hope it's feeling much better now!

    Mary Lane @NewYorkCliche
    http://newyorkcliche.com

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    1. Thank you! I'm pretty good at hiding physical pain. Until it gets too bad, then half the word can hear me swear and complain, hahaha. My knee was doing pretty well up until today. I even ran a few races, but now it's getting irritated again. Hope your knee isn't giving you too much trouble!

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  5. Great photos you captured! Props to you honestly, I'm not a hiker, let alone if I have a pain going on. That's great that you sucked it up and just made it all the way, I bet the views were worth it!

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    1. Thank you! We can't all be hikers, especially not crazy ones :P The views were amazing, I can still picture them in my mind and be blown away by them!

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  6. Definately mad for giving that a go but great achievement!! Hope you recovered!

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    1. Hahahaha, mad is my middle name. My knee felt a lot better, but got a little irritated this morning. Nothing major though :)

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  7. Sounded like you had a fab time despite the same, seems like an adventure of its own :)
    Cora ❤ http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

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    1. When I look back on it now I don't even remember the pain. Zach and I made every part of our day into an adventure, it was so awesome.

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  8. I adore edinburgh and all the lovely streets. But one thing I haven't done yet is climb arthur's seat but if I do I'll make sure I'm fit for it. Great job in going for it and I hope you recovered lovely.

    https://www.seasoanl-rose.com

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    1. You have to climb Arthur's Seat! It's so worth it. Edinburgh's street are among the most beautiful I've ever seen. Love that city so much ^-^

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  9. Wayyheey all the homesickness coming in waves for this post, I'm so glad you enjoyed scotland - even though we don't like signs for tourists (it's more of an adventure this way though, don't you think? :P) and congrats to both of you for climbing up the dodgy route with your bad knees! Wee souls!

    Anne // www.aportraitofyouth.co.uk

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    1. I'm so sorry for making your homesickness play up with every one of these posts. Only two Scotland posts left!
      I hadn't thought of it as more adventurous, but it's very true. I enjoyed getting to pick my own path, even though it was never the easy path, hahaha.

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  10. I am in two minds right now. First one yay great, so good to see you enjoying Scotland! I am very passionate about promoting this part of Great Britain. My second thought is not as great though. 'Soooo you were in Edinburgh but could not be bothered to come to Aberdeen, yto visit your fav blogging buddy, huh?' :) Love, Iga

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    1. Hahaha, I'll happily promote Scotland with you! I'm not sure if I even knew you when I went to Edinburgh, or maybe I'd only met you a few days before I left? I'm not sure. Either way, next time I'm definitely coming to Aberdeen as well!

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  11. I haven't climbed Arthur's Seat yet but I really want to! And wow your dedication of going to do it whilst injured, totally worth it though right? ;D you'll just have to go back again when you're better

    sophieannetaylor.com

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    1. I hope you get to do it soon, it's completely worth it! I'm an idiot when it comes to climbing mountains, I just can't give up no matter how hard it gets. And yes that's another reason to go back to Edinburgh real soon!

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  12. Ouch!! Your knee really does sound painful! You and Zach definitely didn't seem like the ideal people to be ascending a mountain with those injuries haha 🙈 Well done you for persevering and doing it though, it looks like an incredible experience!!

    Abbey ❤️ www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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    1. The pain was really bad the first weeks, but it feels better now. Most days anyway :)
      Zach and I were just a little bit crazy to do this, but we both enjoyed it so much! It was a great way to start our first full day in Scotland :D

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