I finally got to an Outlander Gathering! And what a weekend!
Women (and a few brave and crazy men) from every corner of the globe descended on the Highland town of Aviemore for which is essentially a great big party for Outlander fans. The Outlandish UK admins who planned this year's event need a huge pat on the back because I can't even imagine how much organisation it would take to pull off such a brilliant Outlander Gathering. There were so many different elements and each was flawlessly executed. Every element was thought about, every potential problem was solved before it even happened and every attendee was looked after and made to feel welcome, including me, who knew a grand total of about three people there.
With exclusive use of the MacDonald Resort's Morlich Hotel the long weekend began on Thursday evening with a meet up in the lobby where we collected our passes and a rather bloody nice Outlander themed goody bag. I was staying down the road in a lovely B+B (Cairngorm B+B - Review coming soon) so I headed back to my room, via the Happy Haggis Chippy of course because you can't visit Aviemore without a chippy from the Happy Haggis, in my humble opinion. I had a feeling an early night would be needed.
Friday morning was an early rise as we had a day of touring ahead of us. We boarded the buses and our Scottish tour guides Jane and Susan regaled us with tales of clans, wars and royalty as we winded our way across to the east to our first Outlander filming location - Culloden Battlefield
Having visited before and finding it quite emotional I decided to spend this visit chatting to the others and finding out how they came to be fans of Outlander and what they felt about Scotland itself, instead of walking the battlefield. I met the cheery and hugely fun Jill from Australia who I could have talked to all day. Her husband stumbled across Outlander one day and presuming it was like Highlander settled down to give it a bash. Three episodes in and he was hooked. He pursauded Jill to watch it with him and they have now watched every episode. Jill reads the books to her husband every night and they play the soundtrack to help him relax. You see, her husband has PTSD and the scene after Culloden when Jamie shows serious signs of the condition resonated with the couple. They were in Scotland for the gathering and were spending a further 3 weeks there. I found that a lot, the women visiting weren't just visiting for the Gathering, they had huge itineraries planned, tours of castles, visits to ancestral lands, munros to climb, they loved our wee country and I've never felt so lucky to live here.