Saturday, August 31, 2002


I've just got back from watching the Festival fireworks. These happens every year as a final full stop to the Festival. It is sponsored by one of the large Scottish Banks and to get into the Princes Street Gardens you have to buy a ticket which usually costs a fortune. However, the landscape of Edinburgh means that most locals go to the top of Calton Hill to look across at the castle and the display, and if we remember to take a radio we get to hear the music as well.

Last year was a pretty spectacular show using Tchaikovsky ballet music, so there was nice music and the firework display was visually pleasing. This year they tried to be too arty for their own good, lots of coloured lighting effects and showers of sparks tumbling down the castle walls, that were supposed to give atmosphere to the music (Mussorsky's Pictures at an Exhibition) and next to nothing in the way of "proper" fireworks. It was a complete disappointment, especially as the council had closed off all but one entrance to Calton Hill and the police were directing people from the Leith side of town all the way around Royal Crescent to another entrance that was also closed, so we had to walk several times further than we would normally expect to, or even needed to.

The best show all night was the moon, who despite being at last quarter was huge in the sky, and was a beautiful red colour. There was a band of cloud across the middle looking like a veil of sorts. The old girl was stunning, and it didn't cost a penny to look at her.

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