Still in the car.
Still driving fast on narrow roads.
Still seeing incredible scenery.
It doesn't take long to hit another country when you drive the English countryside. And so we came upon this:
We plopped ourselves in Edinburgh for a couple a days. It's essentially our first time here. It's actually Cassie's second, but scenic memories from high-school band trips of the 80's aren't as reliable as hoped.
The town is beautiful and absolutely packed with people. This is Edinburgh's festival season - so it feels like everything is happening - The Fringe, the Tattoo, the Festival. You can't walk five feet without having small cardboards flyers thrust into your hand by excited actors promoting their next show. The trick is to be memorable - like these guys wearing towels around their waists and carrying a bathtub through downtown:
In addition to the hundreds of regular venues for the Fringe, there are several giant tents set up as temporary venues. What's amazing is how the tents are shoe-horned into incredibly small spaces. And the tents themselves are unique. This one was the Fringe cow stage "Udderbelly":
This cow-themed venue, of course, was located adjacent to the Magner's Pasture, serving pints of cider to enjoy while reclining in giant grass chairs:
In addition to the Fringe, we also spent one night seeing the Edinburgh Tattoo. For anyone who likes pipes and drums (even if you don't admit it publicly) this is an incredible show to see. Military bands from different countries are invited to appear each year as part of the month long Tattoo. As well, there is a huge contingent from the British Armed Forces who perform (the house band, if you will).
The setting is stunning, on the esplanade in front of Edinburgh Castle. The show takes place just before dusk and finishes up with fireworks after night has fallen. This is a group shot of all the pipes and drums marching out of Edinburgh castle. This was closely followed by some pretty fancy-schmancy marching as well.
The Australian military was a guest country this year and after marching out and performing a few songs, they hit the stands to get a little Saturday Night Fever happening:
Another visiting band, this one from the U.S., played a medley of super-hero theme songs - with the appropriate background being projected up onto the castle:
One of the best bands of the evening wasn't even a military band. The Top Secret Drum Corp from Basel Switzerland is made up of non-military - just civilian guys with regular jobs. But boy, can they drum, and march. You need a video to give it justice...and it probably helps if you like military drumming too.
And for a perfect end to the evening: fireworks. With the Castle in the foreground. Kind of like the end of day at Disneyland - except this is a real castle. Although it was only on Cassie's bucket list of things to see, Brad admitted to being impressed and thoroughly entertained with the whole evening.