Monday, July 28, 2008

NB Highland Games

My friend Janie invited me to go to some Highland games with her and her friends, so on Friday I took the bus with her over to Fredericton, New Brunswick with a change of buses in Moncton. All buses leaving PEI go through Moncton; it seems to be the bus hub of the Maritimes. The coaches here don't have seat belts on them which I don't like. Anyway, Janie and I took advantage of the 6 hour trip to get caught up on what's happened in the 3 years since we last saw each other.

In Fredericton we met up with Janie's friends Dave and Lisa. We went to the Games for a bit that night (Friday), but because there had been heavy rain a lot of things weren't up and running yet. Saturday and Sunday, however, were hot and clear, and so we were able to spend the days watching the Heavy events and dancers, listening to music (bagpipe and non-bagpipe in the Ceilidh Tent), browsing the stalls and sampling whiskey. It got up into the 30-degrees with the humidity, so shade was my friend. Janie and Lisa had never been to a Highland Games before, whereas Dave was a veteran complete with kilt. We all had a good time and the girls have been converted to Highland Games attendance.

Mass pipe bands in front of Old Government House:
Caber tossing:
Stone throwing:
This is Fredericton at dusk as we walked back to our motel.
At the closing ceremony, we were told that Billy Connolly was in attendance and being filmed for ITV. I still have no idea what they were filming him for, or why he was in New Brunswick, but it was indeed him. I find it odd that I spent over a year-and-a-half in Scotland and that I end up sighting him in the Maritimes. I took this picture so that I could pick him out from a distance myself as my eyes are no good (using my camera zoom as a telescope, sort of). Play "spot Billy Connolly" with this photo.
Coming back Sunday evening, I arrived at the bus station on Belvedere Avenue and then walked the longest distance ever for me across Charlottetown to pick up my aunt's car from her work so I could drive home. It was only a 3km walk and I've certainly walked more than that in other cities, but not Charlottetown. You must remember I was a country kid - when I was little, I got to town generally no more than once a week with my parents, and then when I was older I was there for school and thus constrained to the schedule of classes and the school bus. I've rollerbladed all over Charlottetown, but I've not really walked a whole lot, other than in the downtown. If I was in town, I usually had the vehicle that got me there. So that was two firsts in one weekend, as I'd never taken a coach bus in the Maritimes before either.

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