We arrived in Greenock, Scotland around 7am this morning. We didn't know it but there was a man dressed in a huge inflatable "Scotsman" costume dancing around outside…guess we missed that.
We boarded a bus this morning with a group of SAS folks and drove about an hour to a village called Luss. They were holding their annual Highland Games and we were so fortunate to be able to attend. This gathering first took place in Luss in 1882 and has gone on every year since. Luss is known as "the prettiest village in Scotland" and we certainly agree. The quaint cottages and shops near the Loch Lomand (Lake) with the greenest hills you have ever seen as the backdrop.
The event felt kind of like a track and field meet. There were many events going on at the same time. One announcer would let you know what would be happening next or you could sit in a tiny grandstand and see most of what was going on.
The caber toss was one of the most interesting events. Basically, the athletes are tossing a 150lb tree trunk that is about 18 feet long. It is thrown for style not distance. The officials set the caber on its end with the thickest portion in the air. The athlete rests the caber against his shoulder and clasping his arms around it, performs the difficult task of lifting it up off the ground while keeping it balanced. He runs forward, tosses the caber and the caber has to flip over once and land as close to 12 o'clock as possible. These men are amazing!
There was also dancing competitions, food vendors, craft vendors, children's events and strongman events. The strongman competitions were some of our favorite. They were deadlifting around 700 lbs and that was just one of the events.
We had a fantastic day and it only rained for about 10 minutes which is a record for Scotland. Tomorrow we take a 9:30am train to Edinburgh where we have gotten a hotel. We will be there for 2 nights. I went to Edinburgh back in college, but I can't wait to see it all again and to show Geno all the beautiful sights.