Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Braemar Highland Games

Actual date of this event: 1 Sep

A few weeks ago, our new friends informed us that the highland games were going to b e taking place not far from where we live. We had heard of the games, and I am sure you have also. The Braemar Royal Highland Gathering takes place in a small town, called Braemar, and consisted of various competitions. One of the most famous is the log (proper term is caber) throwing. Sound familiar now? There was no way we were passing up the chance to attend this event. It is THE place to be if you live in Scotland. I mean, Her Majesty The Queen and her Royal Family attend so it's gotta be pretty special.

On Saturday morning, we picked up Laine and Jonathan and left for Braemar around 9:15. It was an easy drive to the town, but took over an hour and a half. After rolling through some traffic to park our small car in a grassy area which could have been terrible if it poured down rain, but it was all good. We had maybe a mile walk which lead us through the town of Braemar before we arrived at the entrance. 

All four of us were pretty hungry but we held off to find our seats before chowing down. We had bleacher seats and unfortunately they were right next to an announcement speaker. Which voiced a not so pleasant and not so quiet announcer. He was not our friend. Finally, Luke and Jonathan got us some venison burgers that were pretty tasty... or maybe we were really hungry. Not sure.

Watching the games was very difficult for the ADD in me and Luke and probably the rest of the crowd. You really had no idea what to watch while sitting. Everything was going on at the same time. Here is a list of a few things we witnessed:
- 2 mile run
- 100 yard dash
- caber tossing
- dancing
- tug-o-war
- stone throwing
- hammer throwing
- long jump
- Luke claims he saw cow throwing or maybe cows doing the throwing? He doesn't remember.
- hill run
- other runs

Videos: Tug of War & Dancers

We also saw and heard many pipe bands. At one point they all joined together and marched twice around the stadium playing the same tune. It was pretty neat!

During the drive we made fun of Laine because she claimed it was supposed to be a high of 48 and none of us were seeing that on our weather apps. We saw a high of 62. We all were prepared for some rain with rain jackets and we did wear long sleeves. When we got out of the car at arrival, the wind chill was pretty cool but not too bad. As time went on while watching the games, it got cold. Cold. Cold. And we were very displeased when we found out at the Queen would not be arriving until 3:00. We could not wait that long since we couldn't really feel our toes, so we ended up leaving around 2:00. According to Luke, the Queen will have to meet him another day. 

It was a pretty neat experience. Next time, we will need to be a bit more prepared with warmer clothes, and maybe a little booze and snacks. Cheers!

The Highland Gathering originated in the 11th century. For more information, click here.


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