CIE Tours Travel Blog
Discovering Edinburgh, Scotland
By: Courtney Buzzanca
Date: August 9, 2017
We arrived in Edinburgh on Monday after leaving our hotel in York. The ride was filled with views of sheep and bends. Our guide corrected me when I called the bends "mountains." We were in Scotland now, so needed to adapt our terminology. What an extraordinary experience being able to look into Scotland and England at the same time when we reached the border.
Our first night in Edinburgh was at a lovely hotel where, apparently, Prince Charles stays when he is staying in Edinburgh. We certainly were feeling glamorous. We attended the 44th taste of Scotland. We wined and dined on traditional Haggis, similar to a sausage, and enjoyed some Scottish entertainment. There were singers, dancers, and bagpipe players. It was everything you would imagine your first night in Scotland to be.
We were able to get a later start Tuesday morning since we were spending the day in Edinburgh. The day began with a tour of Edinburgh Castle. The castle sits upon a beautiful hill. Looking up at the castle makes you feel like you are heading to Hogwarts! Which is very suiting considering that the birthplace of Harry Potter is right here in Edinburgh! J.K Rowling started the Harry Potter series at the Elephant House! There is even a sign in the window that reads, "The Birthplace of Harry Potter." There were other signs of Harry Potter down the bustling Royal Mile.
Bagpipe player at the Taste of Scotland with CIECourtney
Owl on the Royal Mile at the Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland
Our group was fortunate to be in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival! The festival will be taking place from August 4th to the 28th. Starting at the top of the Royal Mile, you can walk down the bustling street to witness street performers twirling a fire whip, knife jugglers, singers, musicians, people in costume, and I was able to hold an owl! Truly right out of Harry Potter!
I could have spent all day walking down Edinburgh, stopping in cafes, enjoying shops filled with the Scottish plaid, and admiring the intricate architecture. It was difficult to pull ourselves away from the city, but we decided to rest for the late evening ahead.
The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
The 2017 Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo
The evening's festivities were what we all had been waiting for! The Annual Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo. No, I am not referring to permanently branding ourselves with ink. Tattoo has two meanings! A tattoo is a military performance of music of armed forces. Set against the backdrop of Edinburgh's imposing castle, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is one of the most iconic events in Edinburgh's calendar.
Our seats were in the first row right in the center! I could not believe the up-close experience of this event! Numerous countries were present during the performances such as India, England, France, and for the first time ever, Japan! The consensus of the group was unanimous: The Tattoo was well worth the trip! "I could have watched it all night!" said one of our guests and I could not agree more!
Our Grand Tour of Britain and Ireland Group at the
2017 Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle and Fireworks in the night sky at
The 2017 Royal Military Tattoo
Now, as I sit here typing, we are on our way even further north to Inverness, Scotland! On our way up, we will be making a few pit stops, one of which is the home of Golf. Maybe if we are lucky, we will get to hit a few golf balls at St. Andrew's. You never know what may happen on a CIE tour, but the possibilities are endless!
CIE you there!