Scottish Style: Tartan to Bagpipes:
We had some cultural history to learn in Invergordon Scotland. This was a long adventure so we didn’t schedule any Spa Treatments and a quick breakfast at Carioca’s we rushed to the meeting place. We found Ian’s friend Adrien there and all set off on our expedition. The first stop was James Pringle Weavers, a working factory and mill shop. It is a big gift shop with a tourist museum on top.
We watched a presentation about the real way the clans dressed. The presentation showed us the way that they got dressed, some of the accoutrements, and a little of the history. We saw his swords, musket, knives. He talked about the reasons for the colors each clan used. It all started with which common plants were near them. The colors gave them a natural camouflage. The other advantage to using the colors from local area plants was that they were readily available. The plants vary from area to area, and so do the Tartan colors. I never knew this.
Once in the shop, we had a quest for a gifts for some dear friends. Their Mother, Theresa was descended from the Gordon Clan, so here is Sophia and Flat Juliette modelling their colors. We bought a few items as well, the local wool products are wonderful. We did meet a friend named “Nessie,” but we never got anywhere near her loch.
Our Next Stop: Foulis Castle for a Bagpipe Lesson:
We arrived at the ancestral castle of the Munro Clan where we were given a lesson on how to play bagpipes. I am not sure if my hearing will ever be the same! We were treated to many stories of the clan, and learned a bit about the ancient wars. We sort of mentioned that we were good friends with some Gordons… They are evidently rival clans and the feud has not officially ended. We probably shouldn’t tell our friends to go and visit this particular castle. Actually, they were very nice about it; times are different now. We made sure that our friends would be welcome at the castle, at least as tourists. In retrospect, I don’t really think that going to the Munro clan Grand Gathering would be the best of ideas for anyone feuding with them…
Looking For Haggis:
While we were riding back on the bus, someone made a suggestion we try Haggis. David said he was up for it, and so was Ian. Adrien piped in that he would try it and ALL of the girls rolled their eyes.
After a lengthy discussion, a local “Non-Buffet” lunch sounded good. We all exited the tour bus and struck out on our own. It was a short walk to a shopping area by the port where some enterprising shop owners had some “Disney Characters” strolling the streets.
It was a really beautiful day, but it was a little after the lunch rush. Yes, they had not planned food around our group, or the rest of the cruise ship. There was no place where we could agree on that had any food left!. We had a nice walk and looked at the pretty buildings.
There were really beautiful murals painted on the sides of some of the buildings. We asked a passerby who told us that each building had a picture depicting some major event in the area and it was a form of storytelling history. They started telling us some of the details but we were all really too hungry for a history lesson. On the next time we go back there, I will have to take better notes.
And Then There was the CAR!
When Ian was very young, he could tell you who drove what kind of car. He was obsessed with knowing about them. When he was three, his best friend was named Zach who later came down with and ultimately passed away from AML cancer.
I can’t think of anything more enticing than a man using his Ferrari as a way to make money to fight Cancer. The man who was raising money was a cancer survivor and we swapped stories. It was a moment to do some good and to make a friend who shares a common goal: Fight the evil that is cancer.
Back to the Ship:
Our feet were sore, we were tired, and we still hadn’t found any food. We abandoned our quest and sought out food on board. I said we, actually, we found out later that Adrien and his mom found a place on the dock that served Haggis. Oh well. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing… BINGO anyone?.
The show that night was a Broadway artist named Kerry Butler. She sang us some songs from Xanadu, Little Shop of Horrors and Hairspray. She is very talented. We were all fairly tired, but we enjoyed the show and seeing our friends the Sign Language interpreters.
After the show we went back to the room, it had been a long day. Robin started packing and getting the gifts ready for the Cast members at the Kids club and various other people we wanted to thank.