Friday, September 19, 2008

Knights and kilts in the mountains

Each year, Highland Scottish Festival takes place in Estes Park, Colorado. I have been lucky enough to visit the festivals twice now, last year and this year. It has become a part of my vacation. I have no irish or scottish blood in my veins at all. My uncle, the history buff, have proved us to be Scandinavians through and through. Though I did read somewhere that freckles is a proof of Celtic heritage, and those I have enough of - my whole face is covered, even at my age.

Anyway, there are lots of fun things to watch at the festival.

Grand costumes, 

slightly weird costumes (though, if a foreigner came to Norway on May 17th he might find our costumes weird, too.....)

and lots of music. Among them the most fabulous, heart pulling and blood pumping bagpipes and drums you have EVER heard!!! Albannach is a scottish band that can't be explained, just experienced. Even if you are not into bagpipes or scottish music - if you ever have a chance to hear them - DO!

Among the more ..... strange.... ? things you can watch at the festival, the jousting tournament has got to be the strangest of them all. I did not think things like this actually existed anymore. It is a true jousting championship. That consists of (mostly) men dressed in heavy armour on big horses riding full speed towards each other with big wooden lances, trying to hit each other and break the lances down to kindles. Or, if possible, heave them off their horses. And it is not for show - it is real! We are talking pain and the occasional need for ambulance and health personnell. But my goodness it is entertaining:)

This is the BLACK KNIGHT!:)

My pictures aren't that good as I was stuck on the stands, but this guy was down there among the horses and the knights.

So if you need a tip, go to Estes Park on the first week of September. Highly recommended. If only to watch the men in kilts.....;)

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