Kilts and Royals
Bryan Clay and Jeremy Campbell's Scottish adventure continued today in Edinburgh as the gold-medal winning pair was first outfitted in traditional Highland gear, and then went aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia for afternoon tea.
At the first stop, Clay and Campbell learned the history of the kilt before being measured and dressed themselves. The pair will wear the traditional kilt when the visit the Highland Games in Invercharron this weekend. Of note is the fact that Jeremy will be proudly sporting Campbell Tartan - a pattern specific to the Clan Campbell, a well-known name in Scotland.
In the nearby Leith neighborhood of Edinburgh, the pair visited the Royal Yacht Britannia. The famous vessel, now docked permanently here in Scotland, served the Royal Family for over forty years, sailing over one million miles and being widely regarded as the most famous ship in the world.
Aboard Britannia, Campbell and Clay sat for a traditional tea serving and then took a behind-the-scenes tour of the ship that included stops at the Sun Lounge, State Dining Room, Drawing Rooms, and crew quarters. Throughout the tour the pair were immersed in the history of both the ship and its famous passengers.
With two days in Edinburgh complete, Campbell and Clay jumped in the car for the two-hour drive north to Aviemore where they'll rest up ahead of the Highland Games tomorrow.
My favorite part of the day was my kilt fitting and the opportunity to learn a lot about Scottish history from people who really know the culture. I learned about the kilt, traditional Scottish ceremony and important role of the bagpipe player. It was fascinating.
I was really surprised by: How comfortable wearing a kilt is. It will be interesting to wear it tomorrow at the Highland Games but I am looking forward to it.
I would describe Edinburgh as historical and friendly. It's a cool city and I would definitely return as a tourist. I would like to experience more of the city on foot, maybe do some more shopping and visit some of the restaurants.
Scotland is inspiring: There is so much history here. So much to learn and take in and it's been really interesting. We are doing things that we might not otherwise see here with Team USA: Britain Bound and that's been really fun.
I am looking forward to: The Highland Games this weekend and to trying some of the events and experiencing the competition. From what I know it seems like the Highland Games, in addition to be competitive, are built on camaraderie, good friendly competition, good sporting feel and a variety of events. As a decathlete, I have a special appreciation for that.
See what Bryan got up to on day one of his Britain Bound adventure.
The kilt is seen as the national dress of Scotland – so what would any visit to Scotland be without donning a kilt at least once! Highland dress and the tartan are among the most powerful, romantic and dramatic of all the symbols of Scotland. It has been claimed that 'a man in a kilt is a man and a half'; there really is something about the wearing of the kilt that confers extra stature on its owner.
As it’s nothing but the best for our Britain Bound athletes, Bryan had the opportunity to have a private fitting and lesson in kilt etiquette from Royal Warrant holders, Kinloch Anderson – who provide HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales with their kilts.
Bryan's brush with royalty was not to stop there it was off to explore The Royal Yacht Britannia. This magnificent ship has played host to some of the most famous people in the world, but above all, she was home to Her Majesty The Queen and The Royal Family. Now permanently moored in Edinburgh, visitors can explore the ship's staterooms, see personal family pictures and see what it took to keep a floating royal home in operation for over 44 years. Onboard the royal yacht, Bryan enjoyed a very special treat: afternoon tea! An array of delicate bite size sandwiches piping, hot scones with jam and clotted cream and of course cups of Scottish tea. This time honored tradition is quintessentially British
Later, it was into the car for the scenic drive into the famous Highlands. Along the way, many stops at some of the most famous landmarks, including Blair Castle. The athletes overnighted in Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, which is surrounded by stunning scenery and is a major highland holiday resort. As one of the country's top ski areas and most popular summer holiday area in the Highlands, Aviemore is a year round resort and is a great base for exploring the stunning National Park.