Today, (Sat-Aug 22) we are at South Queensferry, Scotland about 20 miles from Edinburgh. The sun is shining brightly. We will be staying aboard as there is no town nearby to walk around in. At 5:00pm we will be leaving the ship to take a bus to Edinburgh to watch their big annual event called the Tattoo. This event is where competing marching bands, consisting of bagpipes, drums etc., put on a show that is a national event.
We had tried to see this show a couple of years ago when we took a train from London on the hope that we could buy tickets. We failed. Instead we listened to the music and cannons through the night in our hotel.
We were told that the seating capacity for the event is 9,000 persons. This time we have tickets as do 2,000 other passengers of the ship. The show starts at 9:00 and runs for 1 ˝ hours. We expect to get back to the ship around midnight.
We arrive and anchored outside the port of Queensferry, Scotland in the early morning. We didn't bother to go ashore to tour the town as it is quite small and rain, although sparse, fell off and on all day. From our deck we can see the town in the distance below the bridge that serves as a road bed for trains. Car traffic is handled by a second bridge about 1/2 mile away.
Workmen worked all day putting metal cladding on the framing.
Passengers are shuttled to and from shore via lifeboats from the ship.
This morning we were given a weather update – sunny all day with rain beginning around 7:00pm and lasting through the night. The show goes on rain or shine. It looks like we get another bath tonight.
We leave by bus from South Queensferry for our destination in Edinburgh. The photo below is one of their expressway. Notice the walking / bicycle path that runs parallel to the roadway.
We are entering Edinburgh. The following are some photos taken as we drive through town.
A lot of taxis are used as billboards.
We arrive in town and park about 1/2 mile away from Edinburgh Castle where the show will take place. Notice the brick paved streets.
The opening you see at the lower portion of the photo is the only entrance / exit for the show.
Once inside the 'stadium' we could look through an opening in the wall to catch a view of the town.
The show 'Tattoo' started promptly on time at 7:00pm. Two military jets did a high-speed flyover the stadium with a deafening roar at which point the event dignitaries were escorted to their seats of honor.
The following photos were taken during the two-hour long show. Notice in the later photos how wet the field became and the people covered with plastic raincoats in the audience. It started to rain about 3/4 hour after the show began.
Countries from all over the world performed. The oriental performers were brightly dressed and costumed.
Although it looks like a country down home barn dance the performers were doing Irish and Scottish folk dancing.
The 'Tattoo' ended with a display of fireworks. Henry Allingham was commemorated by his name being projected on the castle wall. He had been the oldest Scot and had recently died.
The last projection was that of a military jet projected on the castle wall.
Tomorrow we will spend another day at sea before landing at Le Havre in France on Sunday – Aug 23rd. From there we will be taking an all day trip to visit the beaches of Normandy. We will be leaving at 8:00am and will ride by bus for 2 ˝ hours each way arriving back at 6:30pm. Thus, we should have a lot of free time to see what is there. We haven’t learned what the weather will be like. Hopefully, it will rain because we are getting tired of all the drought. ;-)
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