"Pipers and Drummers10 000 of them!!" Edinburgh by hayward68
Edinburgh Travel Guide: 3,354 reviews and 6,585 photos
I was only in Edinburgh for one day. It was August 5, 2000 and my (now former) boyfriend's pipe band was going to participate in the Millenium 10 000 Pipers and Drummers March. Can't remember exact name of march but it was to raise money for cancer research.
Colin's pipe band is the Mid-Argyl Pipe Band and we left Lochgilphead at 5:30am on a bus. It was so early! I tried to curl up on my seat and sleep but it wasn't happening, and my motion sickness pills weren't doing their job. So by the time we arrived in Edinburgh, shortly after 9, I wasn't feeling that great. We dropped the band off near the castle and then the bus proceeded to drive to Regent St to park. This was the only tour of Edinburgh I got. One of the women on the bus helpfully pointed out places as we drove by them. Holyrood House, the Grassmarket,etc.
Now, I had never met any of these women, wives and girlfriends of the band, and didn't know what I was going to do when the bus parked. I had no idea where anything was. Luckily, Susan, wife of one of the drummers, took me under her wing and made sure I was looked after. Thank you Susan!
The first order of business was to answer mother nature's call, it was a long bus ride with no on-board facilities!
We then proceeded to Prince's St, part of the parade route.
Once we saw the crowd we knew there was no way we were going to get close. The crowd was 6 deep.
Someone had the bright idea to go up the Scot Monument, which is where we ended up. It was a bird's eye view of the parade but it was excellent and we could see.
The parade started and you could hear the bands coming down from the castle.
What an amazing sight it was. Pipe bands from all over the world, mixed together in groups, all playing along.
Each group had a play list that they had memorized so everyone played the same thing. Three songs in each group.
I was delighted to see bands from Canada go by.
But it was when we spotted the Mid-Argyle band that we all got misty eyed. There were our guys, playing for all they were worth.
It was over by 11:30 and we eventually hooked up with the band.
Of course, they were one tired and thirsty bunch. They had started at the castle, down to Prince's St and back up to the castle. Then they had to walk to Regent St to find the bus. Cell phones are wonderful in this kind of situation and Colin had no idea where I had ended up so he was happy to learn by phone that I was with the others.
The bus was leaving at 4:30 so the next stop was, of course, the pubs. And that's what we did until the bus left. A pub crawl.
We were so hammered by the time we got back to the bus. And we still had a very long bus ride to go, with no washroom facilities!
Pit stops were asked for, I can assure you that! After all, we'd just been downing pints of beer.
It wasn't a long visit, but it was one I will remember forever.
Will redo this page as I've made a return visit and managed to see the sights!!
Ideal for watching parades! But the staircase is very narrow and winding and you get dizzy when you get back down. The... more travel advice
Mid Argyle Pipe Band and other bands they were playing with, they're the ones at top of group, and their drums are... more travel advice
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