Edinburgh and the Military Tattoo

This morning we had a city tour conducted by an excellent step-on guide, Pat.

Our Edinburgh guide, Pat

Our Edinburgh guide, Pat

The Royal Mile runs through the center of the town. At the top is Edinburgh Castle built on a huge volcanic rock, and at the bottom is the Palace of Hollyroodhouse. The Queen visits Scotland for one week each year, and stays in the Palace along with a retinue of 200 staff.

I gave my camera to someone to take a picture of us and the camera went clattering on the stones. When I retrieved at the screen was full of vertical lines and no picture. I turned the camera on and off and still no picture. I was figuring I had to do the rest of the tour with my cell phone,, when I tried one more thing and pulled the battery. When I reinserted the battery, back came a picture. I’ve never heard of rebooting a camera before.

Taking a break at Hollyroodhouse

Taking a break at Hollyroodhouse

This was a big week in Edinburgh because we have not only the Tattoo but the Fringe Festival. There are thousands of dramatic and artistic productions all over the city for three weeks. It’s a huge event, the largest in the world.

We passed the Robert Burns monument. Burns moved to Edinburgh to find fame and fortune, but found only fame and died in poverty at age 37.

We visited the Palace first and it was something like a smaller size Windsor Castle. The main interesting thing is that we were able to go from the 18th century up a spiral staircase to rooms from the 16th century.As usual, no photo taking is allowed.

We passed the Robbie Burns pub which was owned by the great-great-great-uncle of our guide Pat. Behind the pub was a building that collapsed years ago in which several people were killed, but a small dog survived and because of that, became famous. Because of his fame he was sold for 20 pounds which was a lot of money in those days.

If a merchant was caught giving short weight his ears were nailed to a bar and after a certain period of time, the box in which he was standing was kicked away, which left him with a split ear for the rest of his life.

In another dog story, a dog sat on his master’s grave for 14 years until he died, that is the dog died.There is a bronze statue dedicated to that dog.

The National Museum houses historic artifacts from all over the world. The New National Museum tells the history of Edinburgh.

We passed the Elephant House pub which says, “The Birthplace of Harry Potter”. This is because JK Rowling lived in

"The birthplace of Harry Potter"

“The birthplace of Harry Potter”

Edinburgh and did much of her writing in pubs in town. She is now a generous philanthropist, as was Andrew Carnegie, who also lived in Edinburgh.

We arrived at the Castle, and decided it would be a very difficult place to conquer, since it was quite a walk just to get to the top. The cannon, which was supposed to fire only on the hour, fired 20 minutes after the hour, and 10 minutes later, which completely mystified our guide, Pat.

After our bus tour Teresa and I took a nap, and then looked for a place to eat a bite before heading to the Tattoo. We found Cafe Efe and Bistro right across the street. Teresa had

Café Efe

Café Efe & Bistro

Coronation Chicken, which we found out from Efe, the Turkish owner, is made by combining Tikka sauce with an Indian sauce pronounced “rising”. It was delicious, as was the moussaka I ordered.



We ordered a cab to get us as close to the Esplanade as we could, and then joined the 8998 others that had come from all over the world to see the Tattoo. It was a great spectacle, with performers from all over the United Kingdom, some of which were genuine military, while others were performing groups. In that arena even the bagpipes sound good. Actually I like the sound of bagpipes.

After the show we walked back to the Thistle Hotel, which fortunately was mostly a downhill walk.

Here are a few clips from about twenty performances that made up the Tattoo. The  Full Screen button is at the lower right of the video as it plays.







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