Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Clan Parade up the Royal Mile

OK - back to blogging about the trip, before all the details completely fad from memory.......... (naughty, naughty me)

Saturday evening, refreshed from our nap and another fabulous meal (beef & guinness pie for me) at the Reverie pub, we took a taxi to the bottom of the palace gates to await the parade. At first we couldn't find our clan, & they were supposed to alphabetical, yet, there were A's mixed with T's, pretty much a big clan snafu. Eventually we all found our Sutherland sign sitting up against a trailer - no one had bothered to take it out yet. So, our little group became the beacon. Lord Strathnaver, the Earl of Sutherland (our clan still has a castle, Dunrobin), was there. I didn't know until that weekend that we still had a castle, which is uncommon for existing clans. Most have clan chiefs, who were marked by wearing 3 tall feathers in their caps. The parade finally began, but of course, we were S, followed only by Taits & Unruhs, so we had a bit of a wait.

When we were finally passed the gates & began our jaunt up the Royal Mile, I was shocked to see so many spectators watching the parade & cheering the clans on. Apparently, this was THE thing to do in Edinburgh that evening. As people saw the clan names, they would yell out the name & cheer.......it was pretty cool. I even had the opportunity to carry the sign for a while!

At the top of the Royal Mile, we all entered the stadium set up in front of Edinburgh Castle to watch the pageant, which was the finale of the parade. It must have been an amazing spectacle to see from the city - there were spotlights waving up into the sky from the castle, and the castle itself was lit up with both lights & torches. The pageant consisted of a theatrical history of Scotland, and ended, of course, with a huge pipe band. Always goosebump raising........

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