Donnerstag, 31. Oktober 2013

Edingburgh Military Tattoo

One of the most amazing parts (my opinion of course!) of the Edinburgh festival weeks is an event which is called the 
"ROYAL EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO" and takes place on the Esplanade in front of Edinburgh Castle.
I had already booked my ticket for a performance earlier this year - just after I got the OK from the EU that I can take part in the course. The performances are all sold out, every evening about 10,000 people watch the performance which is a mix of traditional Scottish bagpipe music, traditional dancing - military bands and show groups from different countries take part: Last August I saw performers from Scotland and England of course, but also artists from Korea, Brazil, and New Zealand were there.

All in all about 1,000 performers take part in the performance. In this video you can see how all of them arrive at the esplanade by bus:

Of course I took lots of my own pictures which I'm going to show you here. They are in the order I took them during the day: in the morning I went to the esplanade with my English friends who visited me for one day, then I have photos of the way to the castle before the TATTOO and of course picture of the performance itself.
Main entrance to the arena

Edinburgh Castle

Walking though the town to get to the arena, very well organised - see the huge structure of the grand stand

Approaching the main entrance

CHEERS! a glass of whisky to the success of the show

And this video shows this year's whole performance in one minute

Edinburgh Festival

On reason why I chose this course at the beginning of August was that it took place during the time of the EDINBURGH FESTIVAL - one of the most famous festivals not only in Scotland but all over Britain. Every year more than 2 million visitors come for these three weeks in August and September.
They can see various performances of music from theatre, opera, jazz, dance, modern and a lot more.
At the same time the EDINBURGH FRINGE takes place - a festival of street art, theatre, music, and other life shows in pubs for "free" - of course donations are always welcome!

The town is very crowded at that time, but it is still worth visiting. The photos can show you only a small glimpse of the whole thing:

Bagpiper in the Royal Mile

Most viewers felt a bit embarrassed for that guy...
The audience have to join in the fun - the little boy did a good job

They walk through the town to promote their performances in the evening


The world's largest arts festival with over 40,000 performances and more than 2,500 shows packed into 250 venues across the city.

This band performed in a converted church...

...which looks more like a pub now

While the band were playing he was painting the guests

Promotion for the local Warhammer shop

Throughout the year there are even more festivals in Edinburgh. The next important takes place at the end of this year, it is called HOGMANAY - but I'm NOT going to tell you what this is in this blog - if you are curious, follow this link maybe you can find out yourself:

Sonntag, 27. Oktober 2013

Focus on Scotland - 3

In the afternoon, after our trip to Loch Katrine, we went to Stirling Castle, where we had time to explore the castle if we bought a ticket for 16 Pounds, which I did because I thought it might be worth visiting - and it was!

A lot of the state rooms had recently been restored and looked very colourful now - even a bit too colourful to my mind. I asked  one of the wardens if these rooms really were so colourful when they were first built and she told me: YES, they were - because paint was very expensive at that time, it used to be a sign of wealth to have everything decorated in bold colours.

For more information you should visit the official website of the castle.
But before you climb to the castle you see a statue of a rather small man well-known as kind of Scottish Robin Hood:

the statue of Rob Roy - in the town of Stirling

Castle's ramparts

fireplace - with the unicorn as a heraldic animal

Knight's armour


View to the Wallace Monument in the distance

The museum's wardens were dressed in traditional costumes


After our visit to Stirling and its castle the day was not over yet - the last stop of our bus was at the Wallace Monument.
I am sure some of you have already watched the film BRAVEHEART with Mel Gibson.
Bild in Originalgröße anzeigen,d.Yms&cad=rja

If you are interested in history and in the true story of this Scottish hero, follow this link and you can watch a BBC documentary on YOUTUBE about William Wallace (Don't worry it is in German :) )
You will also find out what happened to him after he had lost the battle of Falkirk againt the English army.

Have a look at some of my photos to get some impressions of the 

Wallace Monument:

On top of this coat of arms you can see the Scottish thistle

This should be William Wallace

This actor told the story of the battle at Stirling Bridge which the Sottish won

Inside the monument there is a souvenir shop!

Focus on Scotland - 2


Another nice trip we had at the weekend.
It was by bus to LOCH KATRINE in the Trossachs National Park. Unfortunately, the weather was very changeable that day. We arrived when it was raining, but later we were lucky to get som sun on our walk along the banks of the lake (Scottish: "loch")

You can also follow this link to find out more about the area, and what you can do there.

Some of us took the boat for a tour across the lake.

Others preferred hiking along the lake.

You could even hire bikes.