During the month of August, Edinburgh Castle hosts the Military Tattoo, which we were fortunate to attend (thanks to dad purchasing the family tickets). Like visiting the Hermitage, it is honestly one of those once-in-a-lifetime and indescribably-awesome experiences I will never forget so long as I have a healthy brain…
To get there, we meandered through the legendary Bow street in Edinburgh, following a sea of people who were making their way to the castle. Outside the castle was like attending a professional ball game in the states, where 1000s of people stand in line with their bags filled with jackets, vendors cry out that they have official programs, and scalpers stand with signs offering to buy tickets. A small temporary stadium of metal grandstands has been created just outside the castle, surrounding the castle gates and creating an open marching area. We arrived as the sun was setting, and the stands filled gradually then rapidly. In the center of the stands were the main box seats, where the ‘honored guests” sat. As darkness started to settle in and the stadium was filled to capacity, a small motorcade escorted by motorcycle police arrived – we wondered if this might be the prince, but it appeared to only be random nobles dressed in gowns and tuxes and the “honored guest,” a random lieutenant general from the US military; we laughed over the fact we were taking pictures of randoms in the hope it was the king to have it turn out to be more dime-a-dozen random nobles and military dudes. 🙂
An honored emcee hosts the event, and introduces each of the performers. Before attending, I thought the event was primarily the Scottish guard, but it was soooooo much more than that. The castle was brightly lit and served as a backdrop for various light shows during the performances. Meanwhile, we had honor guards from Jordan, Norway, and various other military bands, as well as Irish Dancers, Drill teams and more over the course of two hours.
The events that stood out to me:
- THere is nothing like awe that is inspired by the sight of the Scottish marching band, complete with their kilts, boots and towering fur hats marching in rhythm to bagpipes, pounding drums and horns.
- The Scottish DRill team, comprised of youjng women, was breathtaking. They marched an elaborate march and intermixed their moves with singing and chants. I can see why they’ve wone 35 national championships.
- The Norwegian Royal Guard’s marching was amazing.
- I love the way the drummers drum, in exact timing and with disciplined moves.
- I loved the finale, complete with all the performers in the rink, playing and singing and dancing in unison complete with fireworks. It gave me goosebumps.
The show was better than I hoped it would be and gave me goosebumps. Amazing.