Saturday, 7 September 2019

Blelack House (Logie Coldstone, Aboyne, Scotland)

When I woke I could see that it was the start of a beautiful day. Perfect for watching highland games I reckon. Molly, my Airbnb host, is driving me to the Braemar Gathering at 10:00. The only issue I had was getting the shower to work. I know I asked about how to operate the shower yesterday, but maybe I wasn’t listening. After a bit of effort figured out I needed to flip on a switch in the outside hallway.

I met Molly outside at 10:00 and I was on my way to the world famous Braemar Gathering. As we drove we discovered a number of mutual interests and I learned that she had seen and met the royal family on several occasions. She had grown up nearby.

She dropped me off at Braemar and I then went looking for where I needed to pick up my ticket that I purchased last November. I was thinking about calling the ticket office a few days ago but decided to have faith that my ticket would be waiting for me when I arrived. I kept walking in the direction where most of the people were walking and came across the ticket office. They had my ticket and said that I got a very good ticket (A-21) which was close to the Royal Box.

I decided I should walk over to see where my seat was located. I picked up a program along the way and with the help of one of the ushers I found my seat. I read through the program and watched a few of the events before leaving my seat to walk around and perhaps get something to eat.

While walking around I noticed that my internet connection kept coming and going. I was going to send a note to Molly to arrange for a pickup later but I couldn’t get a solid signal. I found a Coop store that had free wi-fi and was able to send a note. Then I looked for a place that would have something to eat.

Seemed that all the food vendors had long lines so I picked one and waited my turn. I could see that many people ordered a burger and that sounded good. It wasn’t until I got to where I could see the menu that the burger was made from venison, which wasn’t my top choice of meat but I had waited in line for over 20 minutes and decided to proceed.

While waiting the people in front of me were excited about seeing someone famous but I wasn’t going to give up my place to see who it was. After I picked up my burger I found out. The person they saw was Judi Dench. There were probably other well-known people attending but she was the only one I saw. She is very recognizable.

After I ate my burger I decided it was time to walk back to my seat. I found a place where I could see onto the field and watched from there. I knew that I’d be seated for the next few hours so standing and moving about instead of sitting seemed like a good idea. So many events happening on the field. Through it all were young girls (and a few boys) showing off their Scottish dancing abilities for a prize. This went on all day since there were so many young girls competing. Beside the dancing competition there were traditional Scottish highland events along with track and field events. Of course one of the highlights were the tug-of-war teams competing.

At around 3:00 we could see that the officials were getting ready to welcome the Queen and her family. A little after 3:00 we could see her car and two others enter the field. Everyone stood and applauded. With the Queen were the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall (known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland) and Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips and his wife. There were a few other people joining them but I didn’t know who they were. They were greeted and God Save the Queen was played. I didn’t get a good view of the Queen due to a pole being in the way.

The Royal Family only stayed for about an hour but before they left the Queen handed out some trophies. A marching band showed up and the Royal Family cars followed them out of the field. Once they left, many of the spectators left as well. You could see how many people showed up only to see the Queen. I guess I could be counted as one of those people.

I had arranged to meet Molly at 5:00 at one of the car parks (parking lots) that many of the spectators used since the town can only handle a few number of cars. I met her easily and we chatted more on the way back and also made arrangements for her or her husband to drive me to Aboyne so I could catch the bus to Aberdeen. I have a 5:20 p.m. flight to Amsterdam tomorrow. I’ll meet one of them at noon tomorrow.

I was exhausted when I walked into my rooms. (There are so many rooms I almost get lost.) I had a half glass of beer and then took a long nap. What a great day! Sunny all day and I got to see the Queen. It was all I had hoped for.

I ate a ham sandwich that I bought yesterday and later ate a prepared dish of lasagna that I heated up in the microwave. I watched another Star Trek movie while finishing the beer that I opened earlier.

After the movie I could see the sky was clear and I could actually see stars. Since I almost always stay in a city it isn’t often I can see stars at night. I looked out the large windows in the reception (living) room and there were a lot of stars! I’ll have to arrange to stay in another place where I could see the stars. (Other than Judi Dench.)

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