It doesn't get more Scottish than this.

Dunkeld Travel Blog

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Before leaving Comrie, Carly, Adam and I tried to soak in some authentic Scottish culture by attending the Highland Games. We used our day off to bus to the town of Dunkeld, home to the 186-year-old tradition of bagpipes, kilts and big men throwing heavy things.

Locals and tourists alike flocked to the town's fairgrounds to cheer on the track events, traditional dancing and heavyweights tossing whatever they could get their hands on. Hammers. Shotputs. Or my personal favorite, "cabers." Each beast-of-a-man took a turn lifting the 15-foot log by its base, shuffling back and forth until they felt fairly confident it wouldn't topple backwards and take out their opponents, then ran forward, giving it a heave with enough gusto to push it end over end.
there it goes
Or at least that was the hope. The kilts slightly softened their oozing machismo, but these men were not ones you'd want to piss off in a dark alley.

The sporting events were all fine and good, but the real highlight of the day was the Haggis-eating contest. Or more importantly, the fact that Adam joined the Haggis-eating contest. He'd been wanting to try the traditional dish since he set foot in Scotland, and what better way to give it a taste then shoveling the entire thing in your mouth at record-breaking speed.

For anyone not familiar with the food, the Wikipedia definition is this: "Sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt, mixed with stock and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours.
you can judge their expressions for yourself
" Mmmmmm.

Oddly enough, the contestants were solely men. And 95% of them were the sturdy specimens from the heavyweight events. And then there was Adam. Sandwiched between them all and representing New Zealand and small Asian men everywhere with impressive consumption skills. A well-practiced Scottish gent ended up winning, but we're sticking to the story that Adam pulled in second. Not bad for a first-timer.

All of the day's events were set to the soundtrack of the on-going bagpipe competition. The idea of being able to tell when a bagpipe hits a wrong note is baffling enough, but to be the poor judge that sat through 5 or 6 hours of the constant piping is enough to kill a man. It was difficult to distinguish if their expressions read as "engrossed concentration" or "pure agony." By the final hour and five-thousandth wrong note, I'm guessing it's somewhere along the lines of "ready to shove the next pipe into the inner depths of the first kilt that walks by."
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there it goes
there it goes
you can judge their expressions fo…
you can judge their expressions f…
dance competition
dance competition
haggis. mmmm.
haggis. mmmm.
the fever is contagious
the fever is contagious
my new hero
Dunkeld
photo by: Nzelvis