Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Military Tattoo Experience

For Christmas last year, my mom and Ian gave us tickets to the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh along with a city sight-seeing tour. As head organizer, I kept those tickets in a folder with other important documents like our itinerary, flight schedules, international driver’s licenses and so on. Sadly, I misplaced that folder somewhere along the way in England. I called many places but no one seemed to have seen it. Sigh. So, we spent one morning at the library in Inverness reprinting our itinerary and flight stuff. I made several phone calls to the travel agent after looking her up online. She was wonderful and very sympathetic, fortunately. She had our tickets reprinted and put together another package which she left at the Edinburgh hostel we were staying at. I tell this story not to illustrate that the cheese is slipping off my cracker…which it probably is…but because we had the BEST time yesterday.

We picked up our tickets at the Tattoo office and then went to catch the sight-seeing tour bus. When I presented our voucher they looked concerned and it took three of them discussing the voucher to decide that we had been over charged. Therefore, they upgraded our sight-seeing tour and refunded some of the money to cover what they perceived as having been unfair to us. This came as a complete surprise. Bank error in OUR favour?? We were able to take several different buses all day yesterday and one of them was called MAC tours which I thought was particularly appropriate. We toured the castle to ooh and awe, then got ready for the 10:30pm showing of the Tattoo. Can you believe I stayed up that late??

The Tattoo was everything we had been led to expect. All day we had run into people who had either been or were going and the reports were always the same. We were in for a treat! Our seats were fabulous, right on the centre line, mid-way up. The Tattoo, for those of you who don’t know, is made up of marching military bands from around the world. These are the best of the best. It is held AT the Edinburgh Castle so you can’t get much more picturesque than that! We saw bands but we also saw motorbike riders from age 5-15 do stunts, an elite band of military personnel perform very cool gymnastics, and several young ladies and men do the highland fling. My favourite band was the New Zealand band. They could have been on Glee. They sang without their instruments. They played their instruments. They provided comedic relief by doing ballet while others played. The band from South Carolina was also excellent. They started in a very formal march and then broke into boogie woogie. The band members all danced and it was just fantastic.

At the end, they did a touching tribute to the soldiers still in Afghanistan. A lone piper played from the ramparts of the castle. They also projected images of soldiers onto the walls of the castle which was very cool. The fireworks coming from the castle walls were spectacular. We tried to take pictures but I honestly don’t think anything could compare to the wonder of the moment.

Thanks Mom and Ian.


Mynnette said...

So glad it worked out for you. My eyes are dripping just from remembering the lone piper walking the wall at the end of an exciting evening. Thanks for sharing. Love to you all- Mynnette

Steve said...

Sounds amazing.

Theresa said...

Lost Purse, now a lost folder with tickets. Hmmmm. Who has the passports???

Just don't come home with a gypsy story

maryanncart said...

Wow I hope that I can experience this and the rest of the family ...loved your comments...what do Rhys and Julia and Tom have to say about this? Love to all of you