Friday, January 12, 2018

Highland Games

Saturday, August 26th! we drove to Drummadrocht for their Highland Games. It reminded me of our Peach Days or a county fair back home. 

Here's their welcoming flag.

Carnival type games set up for the kiddo's. 

In the morning they began with the kids races. 
They started with the younger kids and moved up in ages.  

They also had pole vaults. I had fun watching that one. Again they started with the younger kids and moved up to the older ones.  

When grew tired of watching the kids sports we walked around to the many different booths. 

This was a contest you could play for a pound.
It was to see how long you could hold this log out in front of you with your arms straight. After just a short time like 10-15 seconds some peoples arms would start to shake. It was fun to watch.  

This one was for kids called the Haggis Basher. The lady would drop a stuffed animal looking rat down the pipe. The child was then suppose to try to hit the rat falling out of the pipe before it landed on the ground.  

Fishing for ducks. Kids were suppose to try to "pick" a duck using the chopstick looking things. The number on the bottom of the duck would determine what prize they won.  

This sweet lady was selling her potted plants. She had all sorts of flowers and other green shrubbery for gardens. She grew them all from seed. I loved her accent!

Free entertainment. 

For lunch we stopped at the Strawberry vendor and grabbed 2 plates of waffles with fresh strawberries. Super yummy! 

We got tired of the kids sports so decided to walk into town and visit the Loch Ness Museum. We passed this house with recycled art. 

I got a kick out of this sign.
Not exactly sure what that's suppose to mean.

I love the story of the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie. 

This was a real submarine that was used trying to find Nessie back in the day.  

 The exhibit is something that we walked through.  Each room was dark and would play a little video about that specific subject relating to the Loch Ness Monster. When it was over you'd walk to the next room and so on. 

Is Nessie a pre-historic water dinosaur? 

Some of the rooms we moved through had different machines on display that had been used trying to find Nessie over the years.  

Near the end scientists tried to explain why they had originally thought Nessie was a real monster but after years and years of research why they now think Nessie is just a myth. 
One wall had over 30 testimonies of eye witnesses who have claimed to have seen Nessie. There were pictures taken of Nessie before photoshop was around. Scientists have tried to explained how the shape of Nessie is seen in these photos but "probably" aren't Nessie. Thy claim the angle of the camera in the right light using the shadows over head of trees or birds and a stick floating on top of the water is portrayed as a monster in the water. Hmmmmm..... I don't know! It looked like Nessie to me! At the very end of the exhibit you are asked, Do you believe in Nessie the Loch Ness Monster?

Brayden would have loved, loved, loved this museum!

After the exhibit we wandered back to the games. The adults were finally having their turn!

Oh how I wish remember how much they said these log poles weighed! 
There were some "big, buff" men participating. You could see them straining to not only pick up the log but balance it enough to throw it without dropping it first. It was amazing to watch! 

I think this was the hammer throw but it's a metal ball that weighs about 20lbs. Whomever throws it the farthest is the winner!

Soon it was time to go. It was about 3 in the afternoon and we had a 4 hour drive ahead of us to our hotel. 

On our way out we passed a dancing group of little girls dancing to the bag pipe.  

 Hanna stopped and asked for a picture of these 2 that were fully dressed in their Scottish heritage. 

This group reminded me of a marching band. Marching along while playing their bagpipes.  

Before leaving I thought to snap a picture real quick of the rear view mirrors. 
There are 2 of them! Freakn' genius, you could see everything!

We had some pretty narrow roads to drive to our hotel for the night. 

Lots of greenery to stare at to pass the time. 

We brought snacks for our trip.
Flat Peaches. Hmmmmm.... They were just o.k. Not very flavorful or juicy. 
 They didn't seem to be very ripe. I would have loved to try one in it's season!

Just like fruit by foot at home!

No matter where you are at or what country you are driving in it's no fun to get "stuck" behind farm equipment. 

Here we are driving down the hwy going 60+ when in the middle of no where pops up a "Cycle Crossing" sign. There was not an adjacent road or even a visible road in sight. No house or business place anywhere. Just all of a sudden there was a sidewalk with the sign. Then just as quickly it was gone. 

We stayed the night in Onich.
Passed the family of scarecrows painted onto someones wooden fence. 

Our hotel was old. A bit dirty and grungy looking. I just kept telling myself the sheets were clean. 

Mom saw a rat out her window running across the sidewalk. That next morning we learned Hanna saw one in the hallway! Glad we were only here for one night!

It did however, have a pretty view of another Loch Ness.

For dinner we drove into the nearest town and walked their streets. 

We passed a church with a little red fence. Most of the churches have a small cemetery on its grounds.   

An ice cream store. 
The one and only picture taken of me and turns out blurry. 

And a candy store filled with all sorts of treats! 
It was a long day but a good day.

Loch Ness Tour & Fort George

Friday, August 25th  we had another fun day planned.
Before heading up the mountain for our Loch Ness Tour we stopped by a little bakery that ended up being our absolute favorite of our whole trip!

 I bought a fruit scone (on the L) a donut and a raspberry tart.  
The fruit in the scone was raisins and not my favorite. The donut was a bit better but it seemed a bit more sweet than the donuts we have back home. The raspberry tart on the other hand was the best! Oh my goodness! I should have bought a box. They were both Kory and my favorite.  

While waiting for our Loch Ness Tour boat to arrive we were told a folk tale about this big boulder sitting in the water. 

The story goes that two mighty witches living on the same mountain thought that they were the best witch. There was a constant battle between the two of who was the greatest. Finally one day their heated argument turned a bit physical, then they started throwing rocks at each other. Then a boulder was picked up and thrown and one of the witches were never seen again....

Finally our tour boat arrived!    

I love the stories about the Loch Ness Monster, Nellie. This was one of the highlights of our trip for me. I searched and searched hoping I would see her but I never did!

Our tour boat  took us out to the Urquhart Castle

You can barely see the Castle in the middle but on the bottom. 
It was raining when we got there.

This castle is extremely old. It has really really old parts that were first built back around 500 AD and then the rest of the castle is just really old.  

A picture with his Majesty!

Some of the building were in better shape than others. 
The jail!

Kory found the urinal. Hahaha. 

We walked up to the visitor center so we were above the castle. 

From the other side. Always so green. 

The rain stopped for a moment so I was able to pull out my camera instead of using my phone. 

This particular castle is one of the largest castles in Scotland. The castle was controlled back and forth between the Scots and the English during their wars of Independence. Finally during the Jacobite rising as the last troops left they blew it up so that the English wouldn't want it anymore. How sad!

This is the trebuchet (stone throwing machine).
Waiting for our boat to come pick us up we were able to see lots and lots of ducks. 

Our boat tour is about over. Headed back to our cars!

What an awesome morning!

On our drive to Fort George we stopped for lunch. I had the best Chicken Satay Kebabs ever!!

This little sign was in front of the resteraunt.

I guess it's good to know where we need to go if there is a fire? 

Fort George we were told was the "mightiest fortification" in great Britain. 
It replaced the "old" Fort George in the 18th century.
It is still used today as army barracks.  

It is almost completely surrounded by water. 
Thank you google for an ariel picture!

Love the warning! Stay away from the edges.... you might fall off!

The walls and fencing are centuries old. What an interesting entrance. 

Look at those wooden pegs!

On the R was a little building that we paid our fees in and a little gift shop. Next we got to walk over the bridge. The main walls are made from stone. Everything was built "under ground" so the roofs of all the buildings are covered in grass. It was a great way of "hiding" for the troops. These valleys could be filled with water for added protection. 

This is the door at the entrance of the little tunnel we walked through. 

After walking through the bridge we decided to begin our tour from the very top and work our way down. 

All of these guns are sitting on top of buildings. 

 From the bridge you could hardly see the massive guns that were basically pointing right at you. They are well hidden behind the stone walls.  

What a cool way to hide your military! 

When we were done wandering up top we headed down the path to see what we had been walking on above. 

There were over 50 buildings open to the public that we could walk through.

One of the first ones we saw was the general headquarters. 

Another room was showing what the barracks use to be like.

We found a building that was used as kind of a jail for the soldiers that had done wrong. 

Inside and on the wall was this inscription dated back to 1831. There were others also but this was the most visible and readable of them all. 

We came across a few museums were able to walk through. 

Military clothes, yep they wore kilts!

Cool smoking pipe.

Dinning room table. 

Look at all those guns! 

Leather shoes.

This is a real sheep's head used as a container. 

One of the buildings were hands on for kids. It reminded me of Angry Birds. We could build walls and then shoot little balls at it to knock them the wall down. 

This building was the stalls for the horses.  

As we were walking down each street to see the different building we could go into we passed this. 
Real soldiers, real guns just laying there. We walked by fast and moved on to the next little street! 

My favorite building was the church. 

 This is a very rare and very old window stained glass window. 
What makes this window so special is that the angels are wearing kilts! 
There is only 1-2 other windows on display in the world that have angels wearing kilts. 

Hard chairs in the chapel.

Every chair or pew has a Holy Bible and song book. 

What a great fun filled day!