This year’s annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was in celebration of Scotland’s natural beauty as visitors from all over the world gather around Edinburgh Castle to see a performance unlike any other. Awe-inspiring Massed Pipes and Drums, Massed Military Bands, display teams and dancers from every corner of the globe unite as one for an international performance spectators will never forget.The music reflects the past, reminding us all that the freedom and glory we have today came with suffering and loss from our ancestors. These pipers and drummers are soldiers first and musicians second. Lest we forget.
The Edinburgh Castle’s haunting historical backdrop surrounded by flaring torches sets the tone for the evening, changing with each performance. Projected images and shadow plays were used to enhance displays for each season used in this year’s theme. The lighting throughout the night was impressive as each step marched by the soldiers and danced by the dancers is perfectly timed out, adding another dimension to the show. Imps Motorcycle Display Team took you to the edge of your seat as their stunt team drove backwards on their bikes and created pyramids. They were all under the age of 16 with the youngest performer aged 6. One of the life-sized horses used in War Horse also made an appearance throughout the evening.
As the evening comes to a close all performers take their places and a single spotlight shines upon the Lone Piper. Fireworks conclude the evening as the crowd sings ‘Auld Lan Syne’, holding the hands of the person next to them. All bands exit playing Scotland the Brave as the crowd claps along. If you are visiting Scotland during August I hope you have the chance to experience this incredible event.
No matter where you are in the world, on July 1st,Canadian spirit will surround you. Weeks before Canada Day, I was searching for a place my husband and I could go to celebrate and meet some fellow Canadians when I came across Canada Day International. This is an all things Canadian event that takes place in Trafalgar Square showcasing some of Canada’s best in technology, arts, culture, education and of course, food.
Overwhelmed with excitement over this event I signed us up to volunteer. Our orientation night took place at Canada House in the square. This is where everyone asked if they had found cheese curds for poutine, the most popular question asked every year. The answer was, ‘as close to cheese curds as you can get in the UK’ and had been taste tested and approved by the Canadian staff organizing the event. We took the early shift, getting things ready and talking to people as they walked through the area. We also had the privilege to sample some of the Nanaimo bars from The Maple Food Company, a Canadian desserts company based in the UK.
It was an amazing day and we are so proud to be Canadian. As we have traveled throughout the year to many great places in the world, the more we appreciate our home country.
The best thing about being in London over the summer is the number of FREE events. Sure the weather might not be the best, but when you can go see performances from every west end musical over the course of two days, you don’t care if it rains! West End Live provides you with the opportunity to witness a small piece of what each musical will be like. From there you can then decide which one (or few) to go spend the money on. We Will Rock You definitely got the crowd involved while I think I might just have a crush on the Jersey Boys. I will be saving my pennies to go see Top Hat or Singing In The Rain next. For theatre ticket deals check out TravelZoo UK.
If you plan on visiting Trafalgar Square over the summer double check to see what events are taking place. Next one for me will be the Canada Day International on July 1st. I’ll be volunteering in the morning so if you have any questions before the event please comment below.