Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Oh, Boy! Aboyne!

Have I mentioned lately that I hate the new Blogger's photo uploader thingy?   That's completely off topic, but I'm annoyed.  Anyway.  On to the fun. 

About forever ago now, I finally got to my first Highland Games.  My friends from church, Bob and Anne Kelley, offered to take three of us American girls out to Aboyne for the best of the summer Highland Games.  Paige, Rebekah and I jumped at the chance!  The Kelleys have been really good to me that way-- taking me to cultural things, giving me extra tickets to great local shows, inviting me over for delicious holiday (and no special reason) meals.  They are great, and this was just the latest in my list of things I wouldn't have been able to do without their help. 

Aboyne is on Deeside, about an hour or so from Aberdeen.  It's a cute little village, but I think it's largely the Highland Games that really put it on the map.  Oh man!  Or should I say, Oh Men!  ;) 
Those guys above?  The ones in kilts with big muscles?  They are the competitors in the heavy events.  Things like the hammer toss and heavy hammer, throwing big weights over high bars, and tossing the caber.  They were very fun to watch, and we got great 'seats'.  We were right up by the fence, with nothing between us and them.  Paige is going to compete next year.  =)

 I love how it takes three men to lift and carry the caber to the one guy who will hoist and run with and toss it end over end...
 I had no idea tug-o'-war could be so serious!  These teams were incredible.  They all had their own caller to spur them on and chew them out.  It was quite the event. =)

In addition to the strong men, there was also Highland dancing.  It took place on a stage a little way from us, and consisted of all ages of boys and girls, in several different types of dance.  I loved watching it, and would love to learn the dances some time. 
 And then there were pipers... for the dancing, competing, and parading.  We even got the Gordon Highlanders, with members of the unit from around the world!  It was pretty amazing.  The drum majors from the various bands had a competition all their own, as well.  The had to march, in time to the piping and drumming, up to a high bar... throw their baton fancily over the top... and catch it on the other side, never breaking time.  It was fun to watch the fancy tosses.  I'll post some video tomorrow. 
 Finally, just a few shots of the grounds.  We had spotty weather-- it was chilly and rained on and off.  But overall, it was a great day.  I wouldn't have traided it for a perfect day doing nothing.  If you are ever in Scotland in the summer, I definitely recommend taking in a day of Highland Games, and the Aboyne games, if you can! 


Barb said...

That's one regret I have - I never got to see a Highland Game. Guess that means I need to make another trip across the pond. :)

BTW, you can revert back to the old photo uploader - I did!

Amie Vaughan said...

that definitely warrants another trip over! it was great, but i wished you were there. hence the loads of pictures and video. =)

i will switch back to the other, but i uploaded all my photos and am just writing the posts bit by bit. i'm afraid if i switch back now i'll have to upload them all again. so once i'm done with all these catch up posts, i will. it's rubbish, this new one.