Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Britain Day 8 - Pitlochry Highland Games

So if you go to the Scottish Highlands, you'll want to see men in kilts and hear bagpipes, right?  So far the only men in kilts were those who were renting bikes or a part of a wedding party.

Pitlochry Highland Games to the rescue.

We took the train to Pitlochry and as soon as we got off, we heard bagpipes and lots of them.  Just a short walk under the train bridge and to the grounds and we were there.  They were still setting up, I didn't have my time right, so we looked for a place to sit in the lovely "bleacher" section.

Terraced Seating?
The website didn't have a schedule on it, so I guessed what time we should be there.  I knew there would be a parade that went through the town.  We found out that we didn't have to go into the town, the parade would end up walking right in front of us.

The Black Watch

Men in kilts, everywhere.  Lots of them were part of bagpipe bands in which they'd compete later.  If ever there was a place to be inconspicuous in a kilt, this was it.  
Every kind of outfit from casual to formal, equipped with kilt hose, dirk, sporran and all the trimmings.

They introduced a new caber this year, the previous one was too "light" and was tossed too easily.  So they christened the new one with whisky, or was it scotch?  One Scott said that it was a waste of good whisky.

Many events went on at one time.  Throwing the hammer, dance competitions, bagpipe competitions, cycle races (no kilts), foot races, tug-o-war (thankfully no kilts there) and more.

Dance Competition
This all reminded me of a big track and field competition except for the kilts and bagpipes.

Throwing the caber
There was a hospitality tent for people who came from overseas.  There were real chairs, sandwhiches and cakes.  The weird thing was, they didn't serve tea or coffee but wine; red or white.  I guess this is Scotland, after all!  The chieftan came in (yes, that's what they called him!) in full formal dress and cut the cake.

Which of course made me think of the show, Monarch of the Glen.  Were we in the presence of Laird Archie?

Archie and Hector?
We enjoyed the day even if the seats were uncomfortable, the weather was changeable and the bagpipes constant.  I think I got my fill of seeing men in kilts, it really is a lovely sight to behold.

A Scotty dog?
Back in Inverness we ate at the Filling Station.  We figured out that this was supposed to be an American themed restaurant.  Not a very complimentary name for Americans, is it?  They had real lemonade on the menu!  So of course I ordered some, only to find out that they were out of it.  Figures.

We ordered barbecue chicken nachos.  Silly us, we thought we were getting barbecued chicken on nachos.  It turned out to be chips, a few pieces of white chicken chunks with bbq sauce covering the whole thing and a little cheese sprinkled on top.  Cheers!

Ironically, we still hadn't eaten at a Scottish place in Inverness yet.  Foxe's Pub was really Irish, then Charlie Chan's Chinese, Little Italy and now "American."  But we had one more day left to try.

To view larger pictures, click on the photos.
To view all the posts for Britain 2013, click here.

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