Friday, August 12, 2005

The Military Tattoo

The final night of our very short stay in Scotland was an awesome and spectacular way to say good-bye to the UK. It allowed us to witness something visually and musically splendid, and end the evening on an upbeat, excited note. The photos don't even come close to conveying the essence of the Tattoo, but I offer them to give a slight flavor if nothing else.

What is a "Tattoo"? The word is derived from the old Dutch term [alteration of Dutch taptoe, tap-shut (closing time for taverns), tattoo : tap, spigot, tap (from Middle Dutch tappe) + toe, shut (from Middle Dutch).] that described the scene when a military band and drums would parade through a garrison town to alert the taverns that it was curfew for the soldiers, the beer taps should be cut off, and the soldiers should return to their barracks. Over the centuries this has evolved into a dazzling display of military band precision, bagpipe glory and emotion, and drum drama that is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

TPCCC tattoo 1

TPCCC tattoo 2

Some of the TPCCC tour bunch at my end of the rows, waiting for the excitement to begin!

Edinburgh southeast panorama

This is a panorama I created from the view off the southeast wall of the outer castle before the performance. It was a wonderful view, and, romantically, it was what you saw waiting in line for the loo!

castle sun UP

Looking just to my left from my seat, as the sun was going down.

tattoo 3 UP

This is a small portion of the massed bagpipes. I felt there wasn't enough bagpipe music, but I know many who would disagree. I don't care; I LOVE bagpipes!

russian close UP

The Russian dancers were wonderful and I got this nice, close shot of a pair twirling.

tattoo 1 UP

The castle was lit up at various times in various colors. I couldn't detect any particular significance for the colors, but it was striking. They also scrolled graphics up the walls of the castle, which was very effective.


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