Another day, another breakfast at the hotel and Lawn Bowling.
(BTW – the day I started writing this was exactly one week from when we saw the Edinburgh Tattoo 2022 and I bought tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo 2023. I guess we’re going back)
We had decided to give the Hop-On/Hop-Off busses a try so we walked over to the Ocean Terminal to get the Blue Bus. It arrived the same time as we did so we got on, got our headphones and started to listen to narration about buildings and historical events around us.
While riding, we decided to get off at Saint Andrews Square and switch to a Green Bus to see what else was available.
The Green Bus had a live running commentary which got pretty annoying so we got off at stop 6 (the John Knox House) and walked down the Royal Mile to Canongate Kirk (Stop 5) to resume the Blue Bus
Walking downhill in Edinburgh whenever possible is a really good idea. The Royal Mile is actually built on the top of a volcano with the Castle at the top and Holyrood Palace at the other. The route runs from an elevation of 42 metres (138 ft) above sea level at the palace to 109 metres (358 ft) at the castle, giving an average gradient of 4.1%.
Besides being hilly, it’s all cobblestones.
We waited a bit at Canongate Kirk – The Kirk (Church) of the Canongate, or Canongate Kirk, serves the Parish of Canongate in Edinburgh’s Old Town, in Scotland. It is a congregation of the Church of Scotland. The parish includes the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament. It is also the parish church of Edinburgh Castle, even though the castle is detached from the rest of the parish.
The Canongate is a street and associated district in central Edinburgh. The street forms the main eastern length of the Royal Mile while the district is the main eastern section of Edinburgh’s Old Town.
It began when David I of Scotland, by the Great Charter of Holyrood Abbey c.1143, authorised the Abbey to found a burgh separate from Edinburgh between the Abbey and Edinburgh. The burgh of Canongate that developed was controlled by the Abbey until the Scottish Reformation when it came under secular control. In 1636 the adjacent city of Edinburgh bought the feudal superiority of the Canongate but it remained a semi-autonomous burgh under its own administration until its formal incorporation into the city in 1856.
The burgh gained its name from the route that the canons of Holyrood Abbey took to Edinburgh – the canons’ way or the canons’ gait, from the Scots word gait meaning “way”. In more modern times, the eastern end is sometimes referred to as part of the Holyrood area of the city.
The Blue Bus for the first one back to the stop so we hopped on. While we were on the dotted section of the map above our narrator mentioned Market Street and the Edinburgh Dungeon. Although we didn’t go in to the dungeon, I noted that where we wanted to be was nearly across the street at 1 Cockburn aka the Edinburgh Military Tattoo Office. We had been there before but had always walked down the hill from the Royal Mile and I knew it was near the Waverly Train station but hadn’t related it to the bus route.
The bus went down a bit of a hill so I knew we didn’t want to get off and walk back up to get to the Tattoo Office so we saved that errand for another trip.
Info about the dungeon for the curious. At 0:45, to the left of the video, there’s a rounded building on the corner- that’s where we needed to be.
So, we rode around on the Blue Bus for until we got back to Saint Andrews Square. Since all busses start and end there, we assumed (remember from the travel day?) we needed to get off but the helpful person from the bus company said to get back on. So, we did!
A view of the Castle from Princes Street. Looking closely, you can see some of the viewing stands for the Tattoo.
More photos from the bus
When we got to the Royal Botanic Garden, we got off. First order of business was having a lunch, which was wonderful. We sat out on a deck overlooking the gardens. The photos below are from the garden and lunch.
Back on the bus, we could see a cruise ship docked outside the Ocean Terminal
After we got back to the hotel, I had a cunning plan for tomorrow night. I thought we could get back on a Blue Bus and get to our hotel after the Tattoo. I actually, contacted the bus company and they responded with a personal note!! Sadly, like Blackadder’s Cunning Plans, mine didn’t work out.
Map and times for to take a regular bus.
I’ll have another plan tomorrow, which also won’t work out.
We’ll be there August 27!
Tunes of Glory
Today (Monday 1 August), The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo unveiled its programme for the 2016 event, taking place from 5 – 27 August. Showcasing a phenomenal mix of military pageantry, music, dance, technical wizardry and special effects brings together contingents from across the world. The 2016 military spectacle is set to pay tribute to Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th year, mark the anniversary of The Battle of Jutland and the Great Arab Revolt and marking the rich history of military music in Tunes of Glory.
Against the spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, Scotland’s top tourist attraction will see a cast of over 1,200 performers, over 250 pipers and drummers, Jordanian cavalry soldier, five British Military Bands and one or two incredible surprises – including a family favourite musical performance from the US Army Europe Band.
With over £250,000 invested in high-specification projections technology, this year’s showcase will deliver a spectacular array of moving visuals, illuminating the Castle, bringing the show to life and adding special vibrancy to every performance. The team behind the projections also worked on Danny Boyle’s famous 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and are set to add an extra special touch to the 66th year of the event.
Delivering a unique experience for residents and tourists, the event, which hosts 25 performances in August, will bring everyone together on one of the world’s most famous stages. Ticket sales are already high with 2016 set to be the event’s eighteenth consecutive sell-out year – performing to a live audience of 220,000 in Scotland’s capital and a huge television audience across the globe.
Highlights this year include:
- The Jordanian Royal Guard, Band and Drill Team will join this year’s cast to mark 100 years since the Great Arab Revolt and tell the story of one of history’s most famous battles
- A magical snowfall across the Esplanade and as Mount Everest is revealed on Edinburgh Castle, the Nepal Army Band will celebrate their homeland and links with the United Kingdom.
- Tattoo favourites, the 38-strong Imps Motorcycle Display Team will return for another year, riding to their own ‘Tunes of Glory’.
- Everyone’s favourite, Massed Pipes and Drums will make a thunderous return as the sounds of eleven Regimental and Commonwealth bands, comprising over 250 pipers & drummers, tuned to perfection, will ring out across the capital
- The Royal Air Force, will open the show in spectacular style with impressive flypast on selected evenings including a planned flypast by the world famous Red Arrows on Saturday 6 August at 7.30pm. This year, the flights are scheduled for: August 6, 10, 17, 19 and 24
Brigadier David Allfrey, Chief Executive and Producer of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, said:
“Each and every year, we look to inspire a new generation of Tattoo devotees. We reach out into over 90 countries and normally have more than 20 nationalities represented in the cast. While we so enjoy welcoming a diverse international audience to Edinburgh every year, at this time, we think we have a special imperative: to celebrate the unique nature of every nation and their wonderful differences.”
“We work hard over a number of years to bring each season together and it is stunning when we can see all the contingents enjoying themselves and being inspired by the parts that others are playing. When the cast are in high spirits the audience cannot help but feel involved! The atmosphere rubs off. Add to this, world class technical support and our very special sense of place – the glorious Edinburgh Castle – it makes for a compelling combination. So many of our customers talk about a visit to the Tattoo being one of life’s great experiences. We are very proud of this marque and the contribution we make to the atmosphere in Edinburgh at festival time and to the broader experience of our guests when they come to Scotland.”
“The Tattoo Team relish the opportunity to deliver a completely new show each year. And, while we strive to bring fresh ingredients into the production at each turn we always look to remain authentic and true to our heritage and values. We look to set just the right balance between ‘the new’ and ‘the familiar’. Most importantly, I believe the Tattoo offers something for everyone. We will often see 3 generations enjoying the show together – a shared moment. And, we watch every evening new friendships forming. Our Storyteller exhorts the audience each night to ‘Arrive as Strangers – Leave as Friends’ and so often this becomes a wonderful reality.”
“We are particularly proud to add our celebration to Her Majesty The Queen’s special year while marking other important anniversary’s: Jutland and the Great Arab Revolt. Above all though, the music is the star. This year, we have developed a fabulous score bursting with incredible tunes. For those that attend, I hope the evening will be hugely entertaining and even inspirational.”
“Last year, we were described as ‘one of the greatest shows on earth’. This is a huge and uncommon accolade and we have been rewarded with tickets selling at a ferocious pace; faster than at any time since I have been the Producer. There remains an extraordinary call for seats and often we are unable to satisfy the demand. This said, we have ‘returns’ each day, from folk who cannot attend for one reason or another and it always worth a quick call to the Box Office to see what seats might have come available – even at the last minute.”
Chair of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh Donald Wilson, said: “The Tattoo is so much more than a show; it lies at the heart of Scotland’s event culture. It’s an amazing treat to have it situated right in the heart of the capital and year-on-year, the Tattoo showcases the City of Edinburgh to the whole world. It brings people together, no matter where you are from or what language you speak, while celebrating global cultures and traditions. This year’s spectacle will travel through time back to the Great Arab Revolt; across seasons with a magical Mount Everest snowfall; and through space with a Star Wars motorcycle display. I can’t wait for Scotland and the world to enjoy what the Tattoo has in store this year.”
Some tickets for the 2016 Tattoo (5 – 27 August), priced £25 to £300, can still be purchased online at: www.edintattoo.co.uk/tickets, or by telephone on +44 (0)131 225 1188, or in person from the Tattoo Ticket Sales Office at 1 Cockburn Street in Edinburgh.