Our whirlwind trip to Scotland came to a close as quickly as it had begun (at least it felt that way!). Our itinerary took some hits, but one of these hits allowed us to go to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which ended up being one of the best things we did on our trip. The Tattoo is part of the Fringe Festival, the nation's largest festival that doubles the size of its host city, Edinburgh, during its occurrence.
The Tattoo itself is an event that is well renowned and one of the highlights of the festival. It showcases different military bands from around the world, all playing in one place: directly in front of the Edinburgh Castle (where we visited earlier in the day). While the bands play & march, a light show plays upon the face of the castle, and occasionally performers danced along to the music. A show of bagpipes, horns, violins, drums, and vocals, it's not a performance to miss.
The countries showcased included the United Kingdom, Jordan, New Zealand, Norway, the good old US of A, & more, each with their own distinct flair & sound. Some shows included motorcycle displays, horse riding, or dancing. It was truly a marvel.
We had wanted to attend the Tattoo while we were planning our trip, but our hunt for tickets was quickly shot down when we realized the only seats left were over two hundred pounds a piece. We had spent the day venturing through the Edinburgh Castle and hiking Arthur's Seat and we were exhausted, expecting to wander through the Royal Mile a little longer and head back to our Airbnb. Just when we were about to start the journey back to the car, we heard someone shouting that they were selling tickets. We debated for a moment, knowing they would be expensive because of the late notice, but we decided to check it out. It turns out, we got the tickets for about a quarter of the price of the ones we saw online and before we knew it we were on our way to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo about five minutes before it began.
We watched the entire show, enthralled by the fact that they could organize something so synchronized and perfected while remaining beautifully creative. One by one, the different countries came and left the floor, and all came together in the end for a final performance. I swear, that last performance almost made me cry. The world's bands played Auld Lang Syne, a traditional Scottish song of farewell & best wishes by famous poet Robert Burns, and everyone joined hands & sang together. With arms crossed & hands locked, it almost seemed like the world was one, and not quite divided as it feels when we turn on the news.
If you can't tell from my previous sappy ramblings, I loved every second of the Tattoo, and I would recommend it to anyone who is traveling to Scotland during its performances. In any case, I would recommend visiting Edinburgh in August (its festival month) even though it was crowded. There was so much going on between shows, street performances, and food booths that it was worth fighting the crowd. I have never been so in awe of a city as I was Edinburgh during its famous festival.
Hi, I'm Madeline
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