You could hear the noise before you had reached the stadium. The cheers of the crowd and of course the low rumbling of reeds vibrating over a constant reservoir of air from the bag played by skilled hands – the bagpipes were singing their tune.
It is one of the biggest events on the Edinburgh calendar and our seats were front and centre of this amazing display. Combining heritage, culture and a heck of a lot of tartan the Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an event that, even if you aren’t a fan of bagpipes, I believe everyone should go to.
After a mad rush to find car hire in the UK just hours later we were off to the North, an 8-hour drive according to Google Maps… never trust Google Maps. Driving a lot faster than I should have we arrived just 3 minutes after the box office closed; and when we’d thought we’d done well to convince someone to let us in we were greeted with more disappointment hearing that our booking could not be found.
Thankfully a walk down the cities main street after taking in a Fringe show changed our tune when we happened upon a scalper selling last-minute tickets – and that is how I ended up front and centre of what was perhaps the most amazing live event I had ever seen with Edinburgh castle its grand backdrop.
One thing that stood out to me was that it isn’t just Scotland represented. There were Australians and Danish, Americans and Venetians – so many countries came together to dance, march and of course play the bagpipes.
Driving through the city centre the following morning I couldn’t help but take a rather prolonged pit stop outside the castle. Back in the 12th century who would have thought that this fortress would be used as such a multi-purpose venue. Fortress, royal residence, museum, public display area and more, Edinburgh castle is a true fairytale setting… with a little more tartan than Cinderella’s castle.
Hiring a car to drive from London to Edinburgh was a long trek, but well worth it despite our misadventures along the way. It gave me, as a non-Brit, the chance to understand the country’s geography, the ease to get around Edinburgh quickly and of course drive a heck of a lot faster than I can on Australian roads!