23 July 2008

Scotland update...

The WiFi here is VERY hit and miss but here's another update - at last!

Sunday, day two of our Scotland trip, was spent in the picturesque parkland of Scone Palace, setting of the 2008 Highlander Challenge World Championship. The weather was fairly kind to us with only the odd light shower of rain to contend with and even then the rain came down in a way that is only found in Scotland, from a blue sky! Time after time when we come north of the border we experience this phenomenon... it starts to rain, you look up and directly above you the sky is blue!

Scone Palace and the games area.

The games themselves were very good with Sunday being the second, and final, day of the Championship. Competitors that made it through to the finals included Gregor Edmunds (Scotland), Scott Rider (England), Sean Betts (USA), Wout Zilystra (Holland) and Sebastian Wenta (Poland). I’ll not give away the results as the whole of the games are to be televised by Channel 4 in the next few weeks. There should be three one-hour programmes from what I hear so keep a look out if you’re in the UK - you may just catch a glimpse of Lynda and I!

Highlander Challenge.

Now onto the story of how we finished up being at the games... Some months ago I was checking the tour dates for Clann an Drumma, a tribal pipe and drum band, and saw the Highlander Challenge listed as an event they would playing at. It’s been four years, and numerous line-up changes, since I last saw Clann an Drumma play so I wasn’t going to pass-up this opportunity! The band were providing musical entertainment between the different events and also playing background music to some of the challenges - it should all help build the atmosphere for the TV show if they don’t over-dub it with some boring presenters voice.

Clann an Drumma.

During breaks in their TV filming I was able to get a chance to chat with Joe, Maggie and Stevie from the band for a while and catch up a little on what’s been going on over the last few years. I also picked up a copy of the latest CAD CD - Tribal Heart. I’ve already played it through a couple of times and it’s good, very good. Not that he’s all that likely to read it here but, I’d just like to say another BIG thank you to Joe for the Ardbeg whisky he gave to me at the games. It was a very kind gesture and I’ll be opening the bottle before the week is out!

All of Monday was spent “chilling”. We had a little longer in bed than the past couple of days, had breakfast outside in the sun and then spent the next five hours or so looking around Balloch. One of the good things about the location of the park we are staying at is that it is within easy walking distance of the village and also Loch Lomond; the car is not needed. We walked down to the Lomond Shores complex first, where we had superb views up Loch Lomond and also over to Ben Lomond and the surrounding mountains. After taking in the views for a while we continued around the waters edge and up into the village of Balloch and a bite of lunch. The battered haggis is just as good as it’s been in the past two years! I did have a bit of a communication problem with the poor Scottish girl behind the counter in the chip shop though - she didn’t quite understand me! As I said to her “same language, spoken two totally different ways!” We had a laugh though!

Loch Lomond.

After lunch we walked alongside the loch and then up to Balloch Castle, through the parkland and back into the village. We took a small refreshment break in the Tullie Inn. Well, you can’t keep walking past every pub you see, can you? From the Tullie we headed back to the caravan and an afternoon and evening doing nothing but read, relax, eat, and drink. Oh, and also watch the rabbits running around on the grass outside! We have at least four adult rabbits and five or six young ones that come out each evening to eat and play around the caravan.

Balloch Castle.

1 comment:

  1. What? No pictures of the rabbits? LOL.
    Just giving you heck because I'm
    jealous ;-)
    Such a beautiful place to visit. I don't understand why you passed up so many pubs:-D I am glad you got to see CAD and visit with them for a bit. I'm sure Joe is pleased to see some of the people who have visited their web site show up at a gig. I remember well the year both bands were scheduled for the same venue under the assumption the other wouldn't be there. What a dirty poo that man was for trying to trick them like that. Hehe not going through with the show was the ONLY thing they've ever agreed mutually to.
    Thanks for the update and enjoy the rest of your trip.