For two weeks this past summer, the Hubs and I adventured abroad to celebrate our 35th anniversary. Yes, we’d celebrated in Cuba in the spring but that was an adventure of another sort, eh? We expected this trip to be less stressful and more enjoyable. We were not disappointed.
The Hubs selected our itinerary almost two years in advance. Starting with a few days in Amsterdam, we sailed on Celebrity’s Silhouette to Scotland (2 ports), Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland (2 ports), England, and Belgium. With few exceptions, we reserved private tours through personal contacts or Tours by Locals. It was a wonderful whirlwind. My only regret is that I neglected to document such a lovely trip. I have resolved to rectify! I welcome you to journey along as we retread #35 anniversary travels.
Our itinerary was built around the opportunity to attend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The event occurs annually over three weeks in August so this is a relatively rare sailing. What little I knew suggested a battle of the pipe and drum bands? We learned that it is so much more!
The Tattoo is a rich international display of cultural dance and dress and an amazing demonstration of precision, discipline and diplomacy. It’s an intricate sound and light show with far-reaching historical perspective. It’s uniquely set in the castle esplanade — always held outdoors, regardless of the weather. If you’re traveling to Scotland it’s well worth timing your trip to coincide with the Tattoo.
Our visit also coincided with the Fringe Festival and the International Festival so the old city was extremely busy, overcrowded and exciting! We benefitted from an overnight stay built into our itinerary. The Inn Place located just off the Royal Mile served quite nicely. It was well worth the extra expense to optimize limited time, especially given Celebrity’s incapacity for tendering passengers to shore! (Full credit to the Hubs for foreseeing this scenario.) But I would like to go back. Someday, when it’s a bit less crowded. ;/0
Well, that’s a start — in splashy tartan plaids! — on recounting our adventures of last summer. There’s much more to come in the next few days. I’ve been storing up stories. :=)
~ René Morley
*Tip of the day: Join as a Friend of REMT for a nominal fee to purchase tickets pre-sale the fall prior to your travel. Don’t delay as the show routinely sells out!
Enjoy the 2017 show here if video embedded above fails to display.