Mr. Sanjeev Patil picked us up on Monday morning to take us for a social tour. The rest of the faculty are busy with the British Orthopedic Research Society (BORS) meeting, and today was the basic science portion. They decided today would be a social day, and have us visit the meeting during the more clinical research that will be presented on Tuesday. So the plan was to take us for a hike of one of the local mountains, followed by a boat ride on Loch Lomond, and capping the afternoon with a tour of a local whiskey distillery.
Unfortunately, the weather was poor and the hiking conditions were not ideal. So instead, we drove around the Scottish country side until it was time for our boat ride. We boarded our boat and took a tour of the lake. Despite the fog and drizzle we had a great time and the lake was absolutely beautiful.
After our boat tour we took in lunch, and then made our way to Auchentoshan distillery. There we had a tour, and learned how scotch whiskey was made. Michael, who is the president of a scotch club, could hardly contain himself! At the end of the tour, we were both presented with complementary bottles of scotch. Much to our suprise the distillery had added custom labels with our names on them. We truly could not believe how wonderfully friendly and thoughtful the folks in Glasgow have been!
We arrived back at the hotel, with an hour to get ready before the BORS dinner meeting, to which we were invited. We were surprised to find a large plastic tub at the front desk waiting for us with our name on it. When we opened it, we found two garment bags with complete kilts inside! One had Michael’s name on it, and one had mine.
So Michael and I changed into our kilts (with the help of a YouTube video) and met Dominic Meek down in the lobby, ready to go to dinner. Thankfully, Dominic was also wearing his kilt! He told us we would not be the only people wearing kilts tonight, and it was important that we dress appropriately as there would be Cèilidh (pronounced KAY-lee) dancing!
At the dinner we had the chance to rub shoulders with some of the United Kingdom’s most preeminent orthopedic researchers. The conversation was incredible, and frequently came back to our choice of wardrobe. Clearly everyone was impressed with our kilts. To round out our Scottish experience, dinner consisted of chicken, stuffed with haggis. They were truly going “all out” for us!
After dinner, the dancing began. Cèilidh dancing turns out to be an exceptionally fun group activity. There were circle dances, and paired dances and line-style dances. It was almost like being at a wedding! Everyone had a fantastic time, and I couldn’t believe how many researchers you could fit on a small dance floor!