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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Edinburgh Tattoo Tour - Days 3 & 4

I've been a little bit lazy and got a bit behind so I have 2 days to tell you about.

Day 3

I tried to take advantage this morning of our late start by trying for a lie in but I was rudely awoken by the house maid just after 8am because she wanted to make my bed. I got rid of her but I was awake now so I got up and went for a lazy breakfast and drank too much coffee resulting in a caffeine buzz.

We left the hotel at 11 and set sail for the centre of Edinburgh City where we were meeting our guide Bill, who took us on a tour of the city on board the coach. I've worked with Bill many times before and the last time I saw him he was all excited about going to spend a few months in Virginia with a woman he met on the Internet, so I was keen to hear the gossip! Bill is over 70 and I think it's nice he still has the get up and go for more excitement in his life!

So after the hugs and kisses and Lorraine getting jealous because she didn't get any, we set off on our tour of the city. We've been very lucky this week with all the guides we've had. They are so enthusiastic about their subject and so full of information that sometimes you get bombarded with dates and facts and figures and it becomes very heavy going and boring. We've had none of that this week and I knew we wouldn't be having that problem with Bill. He has a good sense of humour and a lot of quirky stories to tell. Everybody enjoyed the tour with him.

We all had a free afternoon to explore Edinburgh, and with the Edinburgh Fringe still going on there was a lot to see and do. I'd like to come for a few days to Edinburgh on my own. Over these festival weeks its always so busy here and I don't like crowds of people. In fact, I don't like people! I'm in the wrong job really! But I'd like to visit Edinburgh when it's a little quieter and when I can take the time to do what I want to do. I think it's a lovely city and it has so much to offer.

The whole group had early dinner booked in a city centre hotel before I had to pick them up and transfer them over the road to where I would be parked for the evening at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The highlight of our week, and I have a ticket! We arrived early for the best parking spot for the shortest walk possible up the hill to the castle. 3rd in line wasn't bad. I was quite surprised when we parked up and everyone just sat on the coach for 20 mins before heading off. Had I been in their position, I'd have headed straight for the pub to soak up the atmosphere of this huge annual event. Anyway, they all left us and we were just about to leave when the driver parked in front of us came to ask me for help because his door had been playing him up and he'd run out of ideas how to fix it. It's not very often I come across a driver who isn't too proud to ask for a woman's help! I had a couple more ideas for him to try, none of which worked! So off we went up the hill. I was so surprised how few people were about. It's usually a shuffle up the hill, lost in the sea of people. The crowds appeared when we joined onto the Royal Mile, we got through the security, hired a foam cushion for our uncomfortable seats and went to find our place. They have new seating in the last couple of years which gives quite a lot more space than before and is more comfortable, although it is still cosy and I wouldn't like to be sat next to a fatty.

I love any live show, regardless of what it is, and I loved the Tattoo. I have seen the Tattoo before and to be honest I was a little bit disappointed this year, as were several of our passengers who had seen it before. In recent years, the Tattoo has had a new director who is quite arty farty and the general opinion was that the Tattoo has 'lost it's way'. Too much dancing and not enough of the military element which, after all, is what we've all come to see.

Give us more pipes and drums and more men in uniform! The opening and closing sequences, as always, were just brilliant.

It was relatively painless getting everyone back after the performance. Two ladies appeared from a taxi because they had followed the wrong crowd and ended up who knows where, but they found us. We arrived back at the hotel at about midnight. 

There had been a wedding here tonight. I had just parked the coach when about 30 men in kilts came over asking if I was their lift back to Dundee. No chance! I need my bed!

I was too tired to think about putting the mattress on the floor and I slept very well until.........

Day 4

Someone burnt the toast and set off the fire alarm! Is it really too much to ask for a lie in just one day? Obviously it is. We had another lazy start this morning and a much quieter day planned. We left at 11, our destination St. Andrews. Lorraine has a book, 'Britain's crappest towns'. St. Andrews is listed as no. 7.

The place is full of arrogant, toffee nosed golfers driving Chelsea Tractors, Audis and Saabs. If your not interested in golf there is not really any interest here. The abbey ruins is just a few remaining stones, as is the castle. Boring place full of horrible people. We were only here for 3 hours. We drove the North Fife Tourist Route to get there and some of the Fife Coastal Route to return. In my opinion, the driving was the best part of the day!

The bar was quiet when we got back so we had a sneaky glass of wine before getting ready for dinner. I enjoyed my food again tonight and the staff have all been nothing but helpful. I'm not looking forward to tomorrow morning when Jamie is back on duty. We'll have to wait and see what damage he can do. I'm hoping tonight to get a full undisturbed nights sleep but with the music pounding from tonight's wedding, I don't think it will happen.