I live near the top of a hill. Unfortunately, I’m getting to the age when it’s walk down to the village, and take the bus back! My excuse for not getting into the hills as much as I used to is that there are no decent hills around here.
However, as (I think it was) Eric Shipton, the Everest mountaineer once remarked ‘Height counts for nothing; it is the hill that matters’. And we have some pretty reasonable hills around here … even though you could probably take a baby buggy to Wiltshire’s highest point. In fact, we often have friendly arguments as to whether the summit of Milk Hill or the spire of Salisbury Cathedral is the highest point in the county.
But, I’ve been spoilt. I grew up in the Lake District … the motto of our school was ‘E Montibus Virtutem’ = ‘strength from the hills’ … and lived much of my adult life in Yorkshire, so much quality stuff was convenient to hand, and I spent much of my leisure time walking in the hills.
It took a long time to realise that the psalm says ‘I will lift up my eyes unto the hills …’ ; I don’t think it says anywhere you have to lift up your boots unto them as well. It’s quite all right to admire their shape and form from a distance. That’s my excuse, anyway.
Even so, the serious hills are still achievable, if you know where to look. Is there a mountain railway, or a cable car? Back in the day, I used to regard such things as blots on the landscape, and props for the lazy or incompetent … especially after seeing flip-flops on the summit of Snowdon.. But, now that I tend to use them more, my views have changed somewhat.
But, the views from the top haven’t changed, and nowadays, it doesn’t really matter how you got up there.
This week’s contribution to the Travel Theme. See more at https://wheresmybackpack.com/2016/10/29/travel-theme-hills/