Picture This: The Castle on the Rock

by Keith Savage · 19 comments


After 297 spiraling steps, I reach the top of Edinburgh’s Sir Walter Scott monument. Dizziness from the climb and a sudden sense of vertigo assault me, and for a split second I lament that I hadn’t purchased any insurance for travel for this trip. Erratic winds rip at my jacket, blur my vision with tears, and roar in my ears. It’s a trial by wind to reach Edinburgh’s upper levels.

But the reward is immense.

In all directions the city seems to bow before me. Only Arthur’s Seat, in the distance, looks at me with a level gaze. Then, curling around the monument’s uppermost and tiny viewing deck, I spot it: Edinburgh Castle.

It glows in the morning light, fencing with the clouds above it, like some computer-generated fantasy. The castle, too perfectly situated, crowns a dark mass of igneous rock that used to be a volcanic plug. Does this majestic construct now assume the duty of holding back a churning, burning cauldron of liquid rock?

From this view, I believe it capable of everything.

As with most pictures on Traveling Savage, simply click the photo for an enlarged view (Note: there appears to be an issue with this if you’re using Firefox 4).


Bluegreen KirkNo Gravatar March 28, 2011 at 9:14 AM

travel insurance that was funny but I can only imagine how much wind was blowing and that is a great shot of the castle.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 28, 2011 at 9:19 AM

The wind is strong in Edinburgh at street level. Hundreds of feet up in the air and it’s a Herculean entity.

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SerenaNo Gravatar March 28, 2011 at 5:54 AM

this shot is simply amazing! it looks paint like a lovely Miazaki’s cartoon.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 28, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Interesting comparison. I had to Wikipedia him but I can’t say you’re wrong!

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Candice WalshNo Gravatar March 27, 2011 at 10:17 PM

This was definitely my fav part of Edinburgh. Epic shot!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 27, 2011 at 10:24 PM

I’m thinking about doing a photo essay with shots from inside the castle. It should be stop #1 on any trip to the city.

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MattNo Gravatar March 26, 2011 at 9:28 PM

This must be photoshopped, the sun never comes out in Edinburgh! 🙂

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 26, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Matt, more than half of my three weeks in Edinburgh were sunny days!

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puertoricoistheplaceNo Gravatar March 26, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Beautiful! Glad you decided to climb the steps!

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islandmommaNo Gravatar March 26, 2011 at 9:00 AM

I can’t believe it, but I’ve never seen a photograph taken of the castle from the monument before. It is magnificent, both your photo and the castle itself, which is one of my favorite historic places to visit.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 26, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I can’t recall one either. Forget Holyrood Palace – Edinburgh Castle is true royalty itself.

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ShainaNo Gravatar March 25, 2011 at 11:12 PM

The description in your first few sentences made me think this breath-taking castle was a terrible experience until i saw how you said the rewards were/are immense. This picture and your description truly sets the stage for what i would picture in my head a citadel overlooking the lower valleys; something out of a book even. To say this is picture-esque would be a total understatement but it seems almost magical. As corny or cliche as it might be to associate a castle with magic and fairytale type qualities it truly does reflect such an image. The mass structures of the castle look royal and powerful, i think that’s what they would have wanted it to convey. Not that it is just a large structure that is high up but it holds a certain value of superiority and ‘specialness’. Excellent post!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 26, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Thanks Shaina. It was the epitome of a majestic view. But everything worth seeing requires something in exchange, and I tried to convey that in the beginning of this post. Several precipitous and cramped turnpike stairwells led to the top and made it a dizzying experience.

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Christy @ TechnosyncraticNo Gravatar March 25, 2011 at 7:57 PM

*sigh* I just love castles. What I wouldn’t give to live in one for just a little while…..

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 26, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Christy, have you ever stayed in a castle in the UK or Ireland? It’s a fairly common option you know… Dreams becoming reality and all that.

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KenNo Gravatar March 25, 2011 at 4:06 PM

What a great shot of the castle. This is one of the best I’ve seen!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 26, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Not bad for my point-and-shoot Canon SX210IS.

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KatherinaNo Gravatar March 25, 2011 at 12:35 PM

What a great view – I should have done that too! But it was rainy… so pictures would probably have not been as good as yours.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 25, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Guess you’ll need to return 🙂

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