A few weeks ago we had to go somewhere in North Brabant, now we stay for a few days. The reason for this is Scotfest, a Scottish festival that is held today in Tilburg. Anyone who ever visited our website before probably knows that we are enthusiastic Scotland lovers. But this time we wanted to combine our visit with discovering a piece of Holland that we do not know so well yet, Noord-Brabant.
The festival is held in the Leijpark and we arrive by noon. It is already quite busy and we find a parking place 10 minutes walk from the park. The entrance fee is free, that is not the case with every festival. First we pass a bird of prey show and a demonstration of sheep gatherers. The birds of prey sit quietly, but the dogs (especially Scottish border collies) do their best to lead the sheep and it is funny to see how young, inexperienced dogs are trained by their older counterparts.
Pipe bands are walking everywhere in the area, from the Netherlands and Belgium, most are still practicing as we walk past. Now and then there is already a splash of rain and suddenly the bands start drumming and blowing along. We get goose bumps. Whether you like the music or not, it gives us a wonderful Scottish feeling. The music was originally not intended to be beautiful, but especially to scare the enemies away and we think it probably worked!
There is also a stage on which people dance, later we read that there was even a competition with a real jury that awards all kinds of prizes. That the love of Scotland also lives among the youth is proven here, there is a large group present.
Around 2 o'clock there is a performance by the Dutch band The Sassenachs (lowlanders) who make a delicious raw music like the Scots also used on their battlefields in the Middle Ages. Each regiment had its own band at the time and these were even used by the army of the United Kingdom in later times. With a pipe band most people only think about bagpipes, but Sassenachs makes it very clear that the combination with drums is very impressive. We can imagine that you are fleeing from this!
In the center of the area a medieval Scottish village is set up with actors in animal skins who show how people used to live in Scotland. The preparation of food, the use of pots and pans, the weapons that were used and the costume, it is all there to see.
Unfortunately, the air is becoming increasingly threatening and occasionally a heavy downpour falls down, but just as in Scotland, the sun shines again after a few minutes. Real Scottish weather at the Scottish festival. Only here is very little shelter and when we walk a little later on the Scottish market and try to hide under the shacks of the stalls we get a lot of water in our neck when the roofs are flooded by the heavy rain showers.
Despite the rain, the sun shines regularly and we find it a successful festival, we surely have a great day. When it starts to rain in a Dutch way, that is to say, all the time, we leave, looking for a dry spot.We are going to the city center which we do not really find attractive with this weather and we do not take pictures. In an indoor shopping mall we can quietly eat and drink and recover from the many kilometers we have walked around the Leijpark. Just a quick look outside, but no, there it is really too gray and too wet to explore the city further and at the beginning of the evening we drive to the Ibishotel where we have been able to book a room fairly cheaply via the internet.
We feel completely on holiday again, because we are up early in the morning, something that does not work at home so easily. We say it often to ourselves: we should go away a bit more often .....