Monday, 30 September 2013

Viking Invasion

There was a real buzz about the island this weekend, with a Viking invasion, art and craft studio trail and some colourful woolly treasures appearing around Rothesay there was no shortage of things to do.
The weather was fantastic on Costa Clyde, especially on Saturday when it was definite t shirt temperature and this helped bring out the crowds determined to enjoy the fun and sunshine.
With so much happening I've decided to do 2 blog posts to cover all the weekends goings on, firstly I just have to tackle those pesky Vikings!
Saturday afternoon saw the start of the well publicised and much anticipated Land and Sea event, commemorating 750 years of the Battle of Largs. I joined the large crowd of locals and tourists lining the promenade eagerly waiting for the 'invading' longboat to appear on the horizon, ready to fend off the imminent attack.  When the tiny white sail did appear it didn't actually seem that threatening, especially as it was dwarfed by the huge CalMac ferry!

Excited crowd lines the promenade
Not quite so intimidating next to the ferry!
750 years on and the Norsemen and women were met with a much more civilised and friendly welcome. The invaders then walked in procession to 'attack' the castle which was defended by some fiercesome local schoolchildren before a day of fun and games in the grounds.

Preparing to attack
Unfortunately the free entry meant that by the time I had walked up there was a large crowd queuing to get in to the castle so I decided to stalk some Vikings around town instead!  From the feedback I've heard everyone that did get in had a great time.

Viking tourist
Later in the evening I rejoined the crowds as the schoolchildren and torch bearing Vikings made their way from the castle to the promenade where everyone celebrated the end of a fantastic day with a pipeband, hog roast (delicious!) and some impressive fireworks.

This is the kind of event that Bute needs more of, it was well organised, well publicised and offered an entertaining day for both tourists and locals.  Above all it captured the imagination and left everyone I saw from young to old with a smile on their face, fantastic!

The promenade still buzzing at night
Fireworks were the perfect end to the day

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