Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’

Scottish Highland Games in Spokane

Friday, July 12th, 2019


Where else can you find the sound of bagpipes, the smell of highland cows, and the sight of tartan kilts wherever you look but the Scottish Highland Games in Spokane! It is a fun way to dive into the culture, music, clothing, and animals of Scotland. It’s a fascinating field trip for geography class, and you can experience many fun hands-on activities with your kids that can enhance family bonding. When my family first stepped into this Scottish environment, we heard the music of bagpipes and noticed a group of kilted people standing under a tree.


Within the first hour of arriving, an event began where a large Scottish marching band of bagpipes stepped in rhythmic time to an interesting anthem that sounded other-worldly. After playing a few songs, the mayor of Spokane spoke on a stage, and people clapped. General merriment filled the air.


In a different part of the fair grounds, we saw a stage with Highland dancers competing for a prize. Various dancers (all wearing Scottish clothing), sometimes single or in groups, danced and were scored by judges sitting on the sidelines.


Scottish animals were penned off from the people. My favorite was the highland cow. It looks like a shaggy-haired beast from a Steven Spielberg movie. I remember back when I visited Scotland, I used to think these beasts were tame, but they are not. They are bulls and can gore you!


We also saw a group of sheep, a shepherd, and a sheep dog. These are highly trained dogs that can herd the sheep and move them around expertly from place to place.


Colorful tartan booths lined both sides of a grassy pathway. One of the booths had a really cool leather shield next to a sword. Kids clonked in sword fights nearby with toy swords and shields. The aroma of roasting meat emanated from the food booths as we walked past them.


On the way out, we saw surprisingly ordinary-looking men throwing large, heavy burlap bags over a pole set high in the air.


Other men tried log throwing or a “caber toss,” which is basically throwing an entire tree trunk across a field! I have no idea how they picked up such a heavy object to hurl, but apparently they work out a lot at the gym before attempting something so phenomenal.


My family thoroughly enjoyed attending the Scottish Highland Games. This year the games take place on August 3rd, 2019 at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. If you don’t live in Spokane, Washington, you might want to see if there is an event like this in your area, as they take place in many states. Cultural activities like this are fun for the whole family and give you some time to enjoy each other in a new environment!


Thursday, July 1st, 2010

scotlandFat sheep dotted the landscape as I crossed the border from England to Scotland. Shaggy, red-headed highland cows roamed across the green countryside. I remember going up to a highland cow, incredulous that it wasn’t a Steven Spielberg fake animal. Red hair covered his eyes as he looked at me. I hadn’t even realized that it was a bull; the horns should have given it away. As I ran away, I sank into the mud and lost my shoe. Luckily the bull continued to munch lazily on some grass, so I pulled my shoe out of the mud and was glad to get back to the bed and breakfast for a nice cup of tea.scotland-2

Eilean Donan was my favorite refurbished castle. It looked like a stone house from the outside; I would never have called it a castle. It was right by the ocean. The inside of the castle was magical: it had dark wood, armor, grand fireplaces, and tapestries with rich, deep colors. I was transported back to the medieval time period for just a moment.scotland-3

Lock Ness, one of a group of lakes in the middle of Scotland, was an unforgettable place. A castle ruin overlooked the blue, tranquil waters of the lake, unruffled by the Lock Ness monster. Being a dragon lover, I looked around for quite a while on the lake, knowing full well I would never see a sea dragon, but I was determined to give it a chance nonetheless.

Inverness, a town situated on the northernmost part of Scotlanscotland-4d, was a cold, barren land. Mist rolled in over the swampy, boggy water of the ocean. The shore was extensive, and it looked like a forlorn, uninhabited place as I walked barefoot across the cold, dark sand, mist swirling around my feet. I entered a sweater shop and bought a thick, blue sweater, which I still have to this day.