They rounded the northern point of Salisbury Crags, where these dropped to meet the road near the Palace, and Freyja brought her Raven Company to a halt. The rest of the troops fell into column behind and a calm settled. Ahead of them the Crags rose away to the right. On the other side, the even higher walls of Arthur’s Seat reached for the sky. In the centre, however, the land remained lower, inviting them up into a wide bowl, a windswept grassy valley, and from within the bowl there was the glow of fires.
“Colours,” Bjarke growled to the sergeant of his Bodyguard.
South of Holyrood Palace lies a great expanse of rugged, almost mountainous, terrain. It is a bizarre sight in the heart of Scotland's capital - as though a great eagle has carved a chunk from the Highlands and released it from its talons while flying south. Where it landed, the city now curls around and embraces this place of wind and rock.
Salisbury Crags rear over the houses and are a favourite for walkers. Hunter's Bog lurks behind, but its damp viewless slopes are left forgotten. The high point is Arthur's Seat. A steep and surprisingly strenuous climb, this nevertheless has to be one of the most crowded hills in Scotland. There is barely a day when a chain of tourists isn't wriggling up it. Red faced, puffing, slipping and wearing inappropriate footwear.
Make it to the top and the city is yours to behold in all directions.