Highland Games are a great festivity like you will them find only in Scotland. For Highlandgames in Skye click on my link below !
In General there are some competitions that are hard to understand like "Tossing the Caber" shown in my first 2 photos here: This heavy trunk should not be THROWN A BIG DISTANCE, but :
It has to be thrown in a way, that the side you hold has to go up the air, the other part has to touch the ground and the whole wood has to fall over in a straight way, that is as close as possible to 12.00 o'clock on the watch...
"Tug of War" is shown in my 3rd picture and the "Highway Fling" is a dancing-competition shown in my last 2 pics !
Now, Sir Henry went a little further and had two other groupings of peaks, as well - corbetts, which rise between 2500 to 2999 feet and donalds, which top out between 2000 and 2499 feet. I also read that there are nine 'tops' in the Cuillin besides the eleven munros. A 'top' is ...? Sgurr a' Fionn Choire reaches above 3000 feet but is not considered a munro. Probably because it is not a true peak in its own right but a mere spike along a crest ridge. Does that make it a 'top', a corbett or just a figure on the Ordnance Survey map? ;-] Note that just because a peak is a munro doesn't qualify it as an interesting mountain. There are several munros that are just merely bumps that rise above the mandatory 3000 foot level marker while other peaks - Cir Mhor on Arran, for example - make for a much more interesting day's excursion.
Statistics can lead to all sorts of *** behavior and in the World of mountains, statistics can become an end to themselves. You have people collecting - at very high cost - the 'Seven Summits', the highpoints of each continent; people who collect the highpoints of all of the 50 US States; there is even a few people I know who try and stand atop each county's highpoint in an individual State - one fellow is working his way through Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Idaho. In Colorado and California, people chase the '14er's', peaks which rise above 14000 feet. The local mountain club I used to belong to gave out patches for certain numbers of peaks climbed or combinations (ie Guardians of the Columbia = Mt St Helens, Mt Adams and Mt Hood). The American Mountain Club (in New England) maintains a list of the 115 New England mountains that peak out above 4000 feet (there are 770 above 3000 feet which is the level of the Scottish munro) which people try to stand atop - elevations that we in the western US tend to snigger about. In Scotland it is all about munros - 284 of them. They were put on a list by Sir Henry Munro in 1891 and to be included, a peak had to top out above 3000 feet. He didn't make the list so people would do all of them - though he himself managed most - but people being people .... The hard part in deciding for yourself today whether a peak is an official munro or not - having your own copy of the list simplifies things, of course - is remembering what 3000 feet is metrically since that is the measurement now used by the Ordnance Survey on their maps. That comes out to 910 meters. There are 11 of the 284 Scottish munros here in the Cuillen of Skye, including some of the most difficult. Only two are considered walk ups which don't involve scrambling or out right climbing - Bruach na Frithe and Sgurr na Banchdich found on the Glen Brittle side of the range.
Drambuie (“the drink that satisfies”)
We’ve heard the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Prince Charles Edward Stuart), thanks to a woman named Flora MacDonald, fled to the Isle of Skye disguised as a maid (woman). What I did not know was that during that time (in 1746), the Prince was also helped by a Captain John MacKinnon. In return for this help the Prince gave the captain the recipe of his personal liqueur, which turned out to be a prized treasure and later became Broadford’s claim to fame. This liqueur was made by the MacKinnons for their personal consumption for over a century. Finally the drink went public on the Skye and was christened Drambuie in the Broadford Inn in 1893.
This little monument in Broadford is made out of Skye Marble which is found on the Cuillin Mountains. Cuillin marble comes in two main colours as do the mountains, black and red, but with many variations through the two colour spectrums. The rock is very rough, but when smoothed and polished, it is very beautiful. You can purchase little pieces of this marble, everyone unique and said to bring you luck on your travels.
The Old Gaelic language is very much alive here on Skye, in fact it has seen a great revival in the Highlands, but has always held faith in the Islands. It is quite a difficult language to both read and speak but well worth the effort to try = most on the pictures are self explanitory others are not.
Outside of the Outer Hebrides, The Isle of Skye is the most important Gaelic centre in Scotland. The language is still spoken and road signs are bi-lingual.
Pick up a copy of the radical West Highland Free Press for more on the Gaelic side of life on the Island.
Sadly, it seems too many locals drink too much. Portree - the many community - is a mess at weekends with wild and antisocial drunks late at night, centred on the main square.
Bars are packed, with tourists (music or Midgies packs them in) and locals - often it seems the weather, lack of employment, a collective depression, and boredom conspire to create a culture of drinking worse than elsewhere I've witnessed in Scotland.
To learn how people used to live on Skye in the (not so) old times there's a wonderful museum: the Museum of Rural Life. It's near the village of Kilmuir, north of Portree, and sadly it's not very well advertised. The museum is an open-air museum: there's a collection of typical croft-houses - and spread around the fileds there sare all sorts of utensils and tools conneced with croft's life. it's also possible to go inside the buildings and see - practically - how people used to live. In my opinion this is one of the best museums about rural life of the british Isles. It's usually open 9.00-17.30, roughly from April to October.