I noticed some signs down town a couple of weeks ago announcing that there would be an invasion on the 28th of September. Vikings, or Norse invaders/traders/settlers, played a huge part in shaping this part of Scotland, if you ever go to Largs it's well worth a trip to Vikingar to learn more about what happened all those years ago.
It's now been 750 years since the Vikings showed up in this area, hence the big display.
We'd been planning on heading down town at some point during the day to see what was going on, then came the phone call to ask if we could attend as First Aiders. At the time I couldn't help but think that this was a bit of bad luck because it meant I'd be giving up the Saturday that my OU course started and I was hoping to use some of the day to get well and truly stuck in. As it turned out, I couldn't have had a more enjoyable day (and I'm already a week ahead of the course materials so I could spare a little bit of time).
The invasion began with a Viking Longboat landing on the beach in town, which was followed by a procession of Vikings up to the Castle. I was one of the First Aiders on patrol at this time and I'd never seen so many people in town. It was crazy! At first we just saw odd groups of people wandering along to the front, then we climbed up a slope overlooking the promenade and there was just a sea of people as far as you could see.
Once the procession passed we joined the general throng of people and slowly made our way back up to the Castle. It was very slow going and I wasn't expecting everyone to fit into the Castle. In the end we managed to make it back to our First Aid tent where I spent the better part of the afternoon.
|The view outside the tent|
I had to leave a little bit early to head back to my in-laws' where we'd left Tara. I walked her and hung out there for a while until it was time to go back on duty for the evening event, then it was back down town again.
By this time it was getting dark and at 7:30pm there was a procession down to the front. The Vikings led the way carrying flaming torches, followed close behind by the kids from the schools in their Viking costumes. Us First Aiders tagged along at the end and made our way behind, hoping that no one had any nasty torch accidents; they all made it back safely.
There was a hog roast on the front (the queue was about forty-five minutes long!) and then a big firework display. And again there were more people than I've ever seen out on the island in one go!
I'm really glad that I was able to go as a First Aider because had I just gone with Mr Click we probably would've stayed for the early part of the afternoon, watched the first procession and seen the things at the Castle and then gone home. Because we've not got kids we would've missed lots of the stuff at the Castle and we wouldn't have gone to the firework display if we'd had the dog with us (luckily she was looked after by Grandma and Granddad and wasn't too disturbed by the flashes and bangs).
I would've liked to have taken my camera and taken lots of photos, but other than that I really, really enjoyed myself and I think it must have been a very good day for lots of the businesses down town as well.
Plus we got Chinese takeaway on the way home which is enough to make any Saturday perfect!