Last Sunday (yes, I’m a bit late to the blog here) we visited St. Andrews Free Church. The service had a lot in common with our church at home and everyone was very friendly.
After the service we had planned to go to the St. Andrews Highland games. The St. Andrews games are not the oldest or the biggest in Scotland by any stretch, but since they were taking place in our very own town on our very first weekend we figured we should check them out.
However, it was pouring rain. Nathan and the girls decided to head for home but Jesse and I were undeterred. After all, there is no bad weather, only bad gear. Armed with our raincoats we headed to Station Park, the site of the games. Station Park is right across from the Old Course and the Senior Men’s Open was having its final day, so there were plenty of other people out enjoying the weather.
The games included events such as running and short track cycle races, as well as 22lb Ball, 16lb and 28lb Hammer, Tossing the Caber, and Tug o’ War. There were also performances and judging of Highland dancing. We watched a few running events and cycle races, which were taking place on a track marked out on the field. In the center of the track were the events such as tossing the hammer, which were going on at the same time.
The tossing of the ball and the hammer were surrounded by a net, ostensibly to keep spectators, and runners and cyclists, safe. It did not look like something that would stop a 28lb hammer, so I wondered if the other athletes put on an extra burst of speed when passing the hammer tossers. It was impressive to see everyone doing their best even in the driving rain, so I was glad that we had turned out to cheer them on. I also thought that it would have been harder for us to get as close as we did if the weather had been sunnier. We had a front row spot.
After a while we headed to the cafe tent to take a break from the rain and have some food. Jesse had a jumbo hot dog and a hot chocolate and I had a bacon roll, which is… bacon on a roll.
After a bit more watching, and with the rain now coming down at a 45 degree angle, we decided to call it a day after watching the ball and hammer events. Tossing the caber would have to wait for another Highland games. There are several more Highland games this summer, and others that will take place next summer before we leave. I was glad we made the effort to see this Scottish event in this very Scottish weather.