Saturday, 7 September 2013

Edinburgh, August 2013

Edinburgh during Fringe Festival is a sensation worth having.  People everywhere. Artists in your face  promoting their  "must see" show.  Buskers.  Plus the Military Tattoo and A Book Festival!! Too much to take in.  The Fringe had over 300 venues dotted throughout the city.  Six of them were in our hotel.  These included a yurt & double decker bus!  Add to this mayhem many very inebriated revellers, and you have an idea of the city during this month of celebration.  We travelled with Anne & Norrie Matsanaga. Robert's friend and work mate, from Bluescope steel.  They had been before and were familiar with how it all worked.  
We saw some great jazz, a burlesque show performed on a postage stamp stage in a pub. A Japanese folk tale. A very beautiful performance despite the spoken word being in Japanese. A circus style show that included the most amazing acrobatics. And Rich Hall in a Speigeltent. Some of you who watch Q & I will remember him.  He was so funny and was able to ad lib songs about audience members seamlessly.  Most of these acts we paid to see, but there were many that were free entry.  These were hit and miss as to their worthiness, so we saw some good and some awful performances.  Added to all this were the constant street theatre acts.  It was all fabulous. We had a ball, and tasted some great whisky!

   Anne & Norrie enjoying the ambience, and wine, in 
   Candlemakers Row.

   The Royal Mile.  It was compulsory to cruise this avenue that went from the Castle to 
   Holyrood Palace.  One large area of it was blocked to vehicle traffic, and was used by 
   various acts to advertise their shows.  It was so busy.

This was our hotel!!!!  Due to the fact that there was a courtyard that had a large screen TV, plus it housed 6 of the free entry venues, whenever we wanted to go "home" we had to fight our way through crowds.

    Little alleyways came off The Royal Mile, in several places. 
    Investigation of one, lead us to see through one of the old 
    buildings that was in stages of being restored.  It held a really 
    beautiful exhibition of art work & quilts.  Very interesting. 

                Just to prove that Robert has been here before!!

           A compulsory visit whilst in town was "The Whisky Experience".  
           Wallets stayed safely in pockets and we dreamed of purchasing!!
           They were giving samples of whisky, though it's hard to drink whisky 
           in the morning. 

             The architecture in Edinburgh is beautiful, but hard to capture in a photo.

      A free entry performance in a beautiful church on "The Mile".  
      An Australian guitarist, John McNamara. We didn't seek him out, 
      just came across the venue and decided to look in.  A free entry one. 
      The sound in here was gorgeous.

    The burlesque act. The place was so snug we 
    were virtually sitting on the keyboard players knee!
    It was great fun despite it being 11.00am. Surely the 
    wrong time for burlesque. 

    At the Jazz bar.  Norrie & Robert spent some time here!  John Hunt was fantastic.  He played two guitars, both of which he made himself.  He played Blues and sang in a gravelly Tom Waits type voice. Note his percussion backing. His feet thumped on the low table. So much fun. His repartee was great too. 

     This was his other guitar made out of an old Bakelite radio, that still worked. Classic.

      A close up of 'the shelf'.   He used this for most of his performance, amazing!

   To the street performers. 
    These guys, named The Horndogs, were a very good New Orleans style brass band.

    I wish you could hear the sound these guys made.  It was fantastic unaccompanied three
    part harmony, and all in African.  They were amazing.  The guy with the aqua hoody had 
    the deepest base voice that resonated through the street, holding it all together.  Add to 
    the beautiful sounds, the fact that they were really having a good time during their street 
    performance.  It was a fabulous show and only a street act.

I know this is not an act, but of the odd things you saw throughout this great city, this was one of the best.  A cow's rear end!  I don't think the name of the pub resembled anything to do with it either! Perhaps it was art trying to be part of the festival. Either way, it was fun.

  So we were in a great restaurant eating, when we 
  looked out the window to see the castle all lit up.  It 
  changed colours.  Tacky!  I know but we tourists love 
  that sort of thing !!!

 So ends the Edinburgh chapter, unfortunately.  We had a wonderful time. Thoroughly recommend the Edinburgh festival to anyone.  On to Wiltshire.
The Tourin'Travellers 

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