25th of June, 2017: Royal Highland Show

Sunday, 25th of June

I mentioned before that we had a quick pitstop at my old job to pick up a parcel before we scooted down to York. That parcel was responsible for us not spending very long in the morning dawdling at our B&B in the moors–it was two tickets to a show I’ve been hankering to go see for many moons.

Or at least since I first clapped my eyes on a gigantic advertisement for it my first year in Edinburgh.

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Can you guess why it had my interest???

As business folk who do some dealings with the Royal Highland Show, my old boss put a post up on FB asking who deserved to win tickets and why. Cheekly, I said “I dooooo, as I’ve wanted to go for ages! <insert crying laughing emoji here>” Imagine my surprise when a day or two later she said I’d won them! Bless her heart. She knows just how much I wanted to see those damn cows!!

So with much aplomb (and also a leisurely round to say goodbye to our favorite animals at the farm/Haitham to feed the goat some leafy branches) we hit the road from the moors to head back up to Edi for the hairy fireworks. Four hours later, we arrived home. I scooped my trusty party in crime Krista up. (Haitham was all farmed out by this point, hence why he didn’t join in.) We trundled off, got stuck in traffic, had to make another loop through said traffic again when we missed the parking area, and eventually made our way inside.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that tickets to the RHS are a bit dear. (In American, pricey as hell!) They’re 27 pounds per person, which is around 35 bucks. This was all the more reason for me to be supremely grateful that I was gifted these tickets–however, when I arrived in the parking area and spotted a sign that parking was another 8 pounds (10 bucks!!!) I nearly shat myself. Luckily for us, having arrived quite late in the day, we got to skirt past all that and park for free. Phew!

Immediately though, even though this was the final day of the RHS for 2017, we were greeted with quite the scene. It was mobbed.

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Despite the crowd, and how massive the entire place was, we started the circuit and in quick order had admired countless types of Scottish-bred sheep, the fluffiest, cleanest sheep you ever did see. And some horny devils too.

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Then we saw some show jumping, which Krista and I stood gaping at, camera shutters going off nonstop as we captured the big, beautiful beasts in action and the subsequent “focus” faces of their riders as they conquered each hurdles.

Some horses, however, did not fancy the idea of going over the hurdles, thank you very much.

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After some more wandering (and some snacks), we realized we had yet to see any of the cows. With some help from a gigantic map of the place, we tramped down to a gigantic warehouse–and there they were. Hundreds of cows, all in one place, mostly placed booty-facing outward which was admittedly a little terrifying to walk past considering the potential for rocketing cow farts going off at any second.

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After admiring the silky soft highland cows, being terrified off the extraordinarily muscled bulls, and wondering just what the heck caused one breed’s particular wrinkliness, we headed on again. After all, the clock was ticking and we had shit to see! Next up: the goats!

However, on the way there we got sidetracked. It seemed there was a bird of prey show going on, so we stopped to take a peep. It was incredibly engaging: after watching a few vultures and smaller birds of prey being show off, the falconer brought out the big guns.

This guy. Some sort of sea eagle.

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The guy also spent some time explaining where and when he got each bird, their temperament, and so forth. As it turns out, he got this bird quite late in its life… and it was a bit temperamental in front of crowds.

I think you can see that from below. The photo I took right after this one shows the guy hilariously hissing out a breath, making the same face I think most of us do after a painful toe stub.

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Needless to say I took so many photos of the RHS, but I’ll leave off before ya get sick to death of countless photos of cows and things. Here’s one more of Krista tormenting a poor goat with the proximity of her delicious Craigie’s strawberries.

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