I went with Natalie and Micha on Saturday to the Highland Games celebration in Halle. We carpooled with a bunch of SCA types who evidently do archery as their primary Middle Ages activity.
I’m not usually a jewelry kind of girl, but I’ve been noticing that art people and people at these medieval things wear a lot of rings, so when I saw this cute snake ring (although I’m not sure that the Chinese zodiac Snake is the most flattering, I’ve always felt that it described me well, more or less) in one of the stalls, I went ahead and bought it. It’s a little big, so I’m not sure how long it’s going to last before it flies off my finger and I lose it, but at least it’s not uncomfortably tight.
I was amused by the stall selling these huge cans of haggis along with other Scottish knicknacks. I think reading the ingredients freaked out one of the girls from our group – I knew better than to read what went into that.
The food at the fair was extremely overpriced, but not bad in terms of taste. There was a turkish tent with a wide variety of teas and people smoking hookahs. There were pillows and rugs and sheepskins all over the floor. Both times we went there for some resting, I fell asleep on a sheepskin. They’re way too comfy, and so fluffy! Natalie says they know where to buy them for a third of their normal price, so I really want one now. I’m not sure that the customs people would be enthusiastic about having fur brought into the US though.
Anyway, tea. Their list of tea was probably 10 feet long, but since it was in German (obviously) it was somewhat more interesting to try to figure out what I was ordering. I ended up ordering elderberry blossom tea, and once it arrived, I definitely regretted my experimental urge. It smelled terrible. I hate jasmine tea for its extremely floral smell, and the elderberry tea was the same, only it also smelled like someone had ground twigs up into it as well. I dumped a good bit of sugar in and debated how I was going to drink my tea while it steeped.
Luckily, once I took a sip, it wasn’t bad at all. At least, once you’ve had Japanese tea. Micha tried it and made an awful face. But since Japanese tea seems to mostly consist of rice, twigs, and grass flavor, the elderberry plus twigs plus sugar wasn’t too bad. I’m not sure I’d say that I liked it, but for an experiment, it wasn’t too bad, and I managed to get through my glass. ^.^ It was an interesting adventure. :P
Since the group we were traveling with was into archery, in the evening we spent a while visiting each of the stalls selling shots or throws with weapons. They bought me twelve shots at one, and I actually hit the target about half the time! And I managed to not shoot myself in the arm very often. At the end of the day they showed me a picture from someone else, whose forearm was purple from the bowstring. I also saw some people fletching arrows, which was cool. All the fantasy books I read like to talk about people doing that, but I’ve never known what it involved.
The evening show was cool. There was some choreographed dancing (including people with Portal-like jumping enhancements) and a laser show with more dancing. Fireworks (which were nice since I was missing the 4th of July celebrations at home), and then they launched one into the huge straw man at the far end of the field and we watched it burn for a while. The smoke from the fire finally blocked out the huge rotating VW logo that had been glowing over the show all evening. Then there was a concert of irish music, which Natalie and Micha said was the exact same as last year. It was fun, but I think I’m pretty well ren-faire’d out for this year…
By the end of the day I was pretty sick of celtic/scottish music and tired out. The backs of my shoulders are somewhat sunburned, and my toenail that wasn’t doing so great at the square dance festival feels more like it’s threatening to rid itself of me. I was incredibly glad when we got home after 3am. But it was interesting, and a good way to spend the 4th of July. And America’s celebration of its birthday should definitely involve burning a 3 or 4-story straw man in addition to the traditional fireworks.