United Kingdom, Scotland – Edinburgh in the rain and the dry

I should have remembered that a summer’s day in Scotland means a lot of rain and my first morning in Edinburgh was no exception. It bucketed down.

Edinburgh in torrential summer rain

However that evening I ventured out again and it had cleared up which was just as well as I was going to watch the outdoor Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – which operates come rain or shine.

Finally the rain stops as the evening starts

It only rained in the last five minutes and I’m so glad I went as it’s an incredible experience worth doing once in your lifetime – it’s not cheap!! Attached some photos of the marching bands and video too – spectacular.

The Tattoo in front of Edinburgh Castle

Finally on day 2 of our Edinburgh stopover the rain stopped and how much better the city looked. I had fun wandering around the old Town but I especially liked “New Town” with its lovely Georgian buildings – apparently the largest Georgian style residential area in the world. Also lots of cool boutiques and artisanal type shops. Definitely swanky around here and not swarming with Festival tourists.

Sometimes the sun comes out in Edinburgh in August!

Georgian splendour in Edinburgh New Town

It is Edinburgh festival time which means the population swells considerably and it’s both fun and rowdy – I would love to return for a two week stay – one when I would blitz festival events and one before it starts so I can be a tourist without the hordes!! Maybe next August.

I did manage to visit the National Gallery of Scotland which is undergoing renovations but has a very respectable collection of all “the big names” from Vermeer and Rembrandt to Titian and Reynolds and of course a great selection of Scottish painters.

A selection of art from the National Gallery of Scotland

Finally it seemed like numerous people I know were also in Edinburgh at the same time. Some I just missed because they’d been and gone and others were arriving after I left but I did manage to catch up with an HSBC connection that I first met when I worked in Vancouver back in the 90s and then again when we both spent a fair bit of time working in Hyderabad. We nearly connected in Bermuda last year but she was moved just before I arrived so it was all the more special to catch up with Jane and also to meet Jackie – another HSBC alumni.

Me, Jane and Jackie contemplating how small the world is!

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