Trip Start May 19, 2008
24Trip End Jun 02, 2008
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We spent the morning listening to a lot of history and geography of Scotland from George, a man at the hostel who must be at least in his 70's. All seven (yes, seven) of his older brothers fought in 'the war,' meaning World War II. He has spent his life doing mountain rescue and knows quite a lot-- and was happy to talk about it.
The Highland Games ( http://www.blair-castle.co.uk/events/index.asp) included hammer throwing, stone throwing, and trying to toss an iron weight backwards over a bar. The Atholl Highlanders, Europe's only remaining private army (though I'm not sure what one does with one's own private army in this day and age) marched around the field behind their drums and pipes, and then all the Atholl Highlanders had a race... a very short one, across the atheletic field. Pipers competed all day, so we have listened to five solid hours of bagpipes, usually three or four at a time. There were also about four or more solid hours of Scottish dance competition.
We wandered around the grounds of the castle on which the Games were held and saw many gardens: the Wall Garden with lakes and islands and statues... and flowers; the Water Garden with streams and waterfalls; the Round Garden which was, well, a round garden. Paths went through wooded grounds between all these gardens. We found the Church of St. Bride, and we kept seeing signs for a statue of Diana, to and from which all paths were supposed to lead. But we never actually found it.
We took loads of pictures and videos, but as we are still at a public computer, there is no way to upload them right now.