Thursday, January 11, 2024

Day 8 Continue, Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Before the start of the Tattoo, people milling about.  Quests trying to find their seats and performers finding where they que up.  The Tattoo is an annual series of military Tattos, performed by The British Armed Forces, Common Wealth, and International military bands.  It's held once a year in August with nightly shows come rain or shine.
We're close to starting time here, as you see the stands filling up and darkness is falling.  The show starts at 9:30.

We're seated on section 2, the right side of photo.  There's a small section just as the performers come out of the castle, then our section.  We had excellent seats just a few rows from the bottom, so very good visibility as the bands marched passed us and performed in front of us.
The show is magnificent, with cutting edge lighting, sound and military precision. 
See, right in front of us.  The pipes.........oh how I love the pipes.

This was The US NAVY Band, or a portion of them.
The tickets range in price from 42.50 to 970.00 Euro's and many seats are already sold for the next season, August of 2024.  The prices vary by physically where you're located and what night you go.  Our section 2 is currently listed at 88 Euro's, and was a part of our tour.  This is the only video I took short enough to download.

So much pageantry.  Truly a wonderful evening of fabulous performances.  Nearly 220,000 people attend the Tattoo annually in August at Edinburgh Castle.

Everything was so moving.  The evening ended in darkness at the Castle with a single bag piper atop the Castle Wall, immediately following the last band.  Then lights came on so we could all make our way back to the our coaches.  We walked the full royal mile and then some to get the long que of coaches awaiting all those in attendance.

PLEASE leave me a comment when you come visit, so I know you were here. Your visits and comments are very special to me. AND remember, leave your name and url and not your profile link. Name and url takes me right to your blog post so I can reciprocate the visit.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Day 8 Edinburgh, Military Tattoo, Part I

Our itinerary reads: Edinburgh Castle/City Tour.  Explore central Edinburgh starting in the 200 year old "New Town" with planned streets and elegant Georgian houses where many famous writers and inventors lived.  See the "Royal Mile" with its narrow medieval houses, then tour Edinburgh Castle to see the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny.  The rest of the day is free for you to explore.  On July 31 - August 14th departures, attend the world famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  **Our dates fell within that time frame and so we will be attending the Tattoo tonight.

As we toured the city via our coach, this was the first glimpse of The Castle.  To the left you can see the back of stands erected for the Tattoo.  

We're inside the area where the Tattoo will be held and we were able to find out seats.  Nice to be able to do that during the day.  We were in section 2 about 3 rows from the bottom.  So...excellent seats.  We'll be able to find our seats easier this evening since we got to locate them during daylight.  The Tattoo begins at 9 pm.  So this promises to be a long day.
Our tour group is making our way through the gates following our local tour guide.
Hope you can get a feel for how high up we are over looking the city below.

The Chapel.  Many in our group got in the que to see the Crown Jewels.  Jane and I had been there before when we toured Scotland and Ireland and so passed that by, and spent out time exploring the grounds and all the other buildings.  

Inside the Great Hall.  The details in the wood carvings around the room are breathtaking.
Explanations of some of the special things to see.
Back outside, look at that view of the city well beneath us.  See the people in the left center...look how small they look.  
Special resting place for mascots and regimental officers dogs in use since Queen Victoria's Reign 1837-1901.
Looking down into garden cemetery area.
Views abound.
After touring about, we elected to have a refreshment, before tackling all the shopping that exists on The Royal Mile.
Indeed they were refreshing.  It was also nice and quiet in the bar after being with the masses in the Castle and surrounding areas.
Our old fashions were made with GlenCadam Reserva.  We enjoyed our drinks so much we searched on the Royal Mile and were able to purchase a bottle to take bake to our hotel.  I've since looked for it here unsuccessfully.
Our shopping complete we're threading our way through the crowds to get back to where our coach is parked in order to get a ride back to the hotel and rest up a bit before grabbing some dinner and heading out again to the Castle for The Tattoo.
You just never know what you're going to see in your travels.

PLEASE leave me a comment when you come visit, so I know you were here. Your visits and comments are very special to me. AND remember, leave your name and url and not your profile link. Name and url takes me right to your blog post so I can reciprocate the visit.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Day 7, Lake District (in route to Edinburgh)

Day 7's Itinerary reads: Lake District/Scottish Evening.  Travel through the glorious Lake District, which inspired many of the Beatrix Potter's children's books.  Visit the village of Grasmere, where Wordsworth lived and is buried.  Pass through the village of Gretna Green as you cross the border into Scotland.  At your hotel, enjoy a lively Scottish evening with dinner and entertainment. (July 31-August 14 departures will have a free evening instead.) We did not have a Scottish Evening of entertainment, as our tour dates fell within the dates listed.

Fuzzy Brush coin operated machine was hanging on the wall just outside the restrooms, as we stopped for a coffee and potty break along the roadway.  I thought it so odd, different etc, that I took a picture.  Rest stops in Europe are so very different than our little rest stops here in the US.  We have restrooms, and sometimes a few vending machines with junk food (pop, crackers, candybars).  In Europe they have real food, multiple choices, coffee shops, little grocery stores even.  Much more full service.  So, I guess means of brushing your teeth, doing your laundry (which we saw in some cases), isn't surprising.

Thought I'd repost the map so you can see where we are, and where we're headed.  We left Chester and are making our way to Edinburgh where we'll spend 3 nights.

This is where we spotted the toothbrush machine.  This rest stop is very space age looking.  It stands 65 feet tall.  The idea, when it was built was to call attention to motorist because advertising wasn't permitted along the roadway.  Originally this was called Forton Services, because it's near Forton and Lancaster.  Later it was called Pennine Tower.
This photo was taken shortly after it was built.  Currently it's looking a bit shabby I thought.

Next stop Grasmere.  A very old grave yard beside a very old church.  Sadly we weren't able to see inside, as there was a service taking place since we were there on a Sunday morning.
Grasmere was a very pretty little village, though we had to dodge raindrops part of our time there.  We had fun in a few little shops, and had a lovely lunch of homemade sandwiches, chips, and a fabulous hot boozed coffee.

We didn't get the same thing, but I don't remember what we did have.  All was delicious.  We wanted a break from fish n chips, and wanted something a bit lighter; as we were to have a group dinner at our hotel this night.  The other highlight of this lunch stop was a very sweet young man who waited on us.  He was early teens, maybe 13-14 and was just such a gentlemen that we stopped to tell the owner what a wonderful job he was doing and how much we enjoyed his service.  It's one of the few places we left a sizeable tip.

Gretna Green wasn't much more than a potty stop, though there was a little shopping village here, and snacky food that we didn't need or buy, though some in our group were hungry again.  We're now official at the Scottish Boarder.

Our lodgings for the next 3 nights The Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket.  This   isn't my photo, but the one from their website.  It's a shame we spent 3 nights here, because it was quite worn down, not very clean.  With a name like royal, you would expect more for sure.  We were physical close to The Royal Mile, but not in what seemed a very nice area.  Having been to Edinburgh before where we were able to walk from The Castle to the Hotel.  Which you could here as well; but we were on the other side of the Castle this time and the area just wasn't as nice.
Since these are photo's from their webpage things look far nicer than they were.  Maybe once upon a time it looked like this.  We did not have nice tartans and decorative pillows on our beds.
Their specials, which did not appeal to us; but thought I'd share.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Day 6, Conwy, Northern Wales Continued

A great view (stock photo), of the harbour walking area with The Conwy Castle looming over the city.  Conwy is an historic fishing village built by Edward I in 1283, in Northern Wales.
It's still very much a fishing village/ a port city.
While we didn't have time to tour the actual castle we did walk about and get a feel for the little fishing village.
A good use of the old phone booths!
 There was a little amusement area for the wee ones.
I'm not sure if this was a particular festival on the day we toured, or if the amusement area is always there.

We opted not to que up to enter the smallest house in Great Britain, so we could use our time to walk around and see more of the village.  The red house sandwiched between the white cottage and gate area of the walled city was built to fill in the space back in the day.  People did live in this 6 x 10 (72 inches wide by 122 inches tall) at one time.  It was built back in the 1800's and used by fishermen who lived and worked on the harbour.
The name of the house, Cymraeg is listed here with hours of operation.  
This is a short video I found on line by a travel blogger, it's short; but worth the time so you can see the inside of the wee house.  A man named Robert Jones bought the house for 20 pounds back in 1891, and he rented it to a man also named Robert Johnson, who was not a small man, but was 6'3".  Eventually he was evicted by the city council in the 1900's and the residence was deemed unsuitable for human habitation at that time.  His Great-Great Granddaughter, Jan Tyley ownes and operates the house to this day as a tourist attraction.

Video Here (then scroll down for the video)

You can see how narrow the streets were as we explored.
 Though we didn't tour the castle, it was ever present as we made our way among the shops in the historic area.  And then we headed back to the coach to make our way back to Chester for another walking tour.
Beautiful black and white buildings again in the center area of Chester.  
Looking down one of the mediaeval streets you see the Eastgate Clock.  The Eastgate to the walled city was built by the Normans. 
A close up of the clock which was installed at the Eastgate, City Center, in 1899 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897.  She was at that time, the longest serving monarch.
Chester Cathedral was built between the 10th and 16th century with the earliest parts dating back to 1093, Benedictine.  In 1541 the old abbey became The Church of England when King Henry the VIII, separated from the Roman Catholic Church.
We were able to listen to the choir for a short period of time.  Then headed back to our hotel in Chester, The Double Tree for our 2nd night there.  Tomorrow bags out at 7 am as we head to Scotland.

PLEASE leave me a comment when you come visit, so I know you were here. Your visits and comments are very special to me. AND remember, leave your name and url and not your profile link. Name and url takes me right to your blog post so I can reciprocate the visit.