The Highlands, Haggis & Rain

On the morning of the 5th of February 2016, 28 Undutchables employees gathered at Schiphol airport. Everyone had their matching jackets on and their weekend bag packed, however only a few knew the destination of the trip. Until Ilse Visser, Undutchables co-founder, pulled out a plaid cap, put it on and announced we were all heading to Scotland to celebrate 20 years of Undutchables. After which 28 excited employees boarded a flight and started the weekend celebrations in the back of the plane.

After landing in a gray and rainy Edinburgh, we all boarded a bus and were driven north to the Highlands, where the first activity included a two hour laser game battle in the forest. We at Undutchables might not all be very athletic; however, one thing we all have in common is a competitive streak. So those two hours were spent slipping, sliding and crawling through mud to defend our forts, comrades and queen’s. After which we had some time to freshen up before having dinner in the hotel. That evening we were entertained by a kilted Scotsman who not only played the bagpipes but also told us the history of haggis. This was, of course, followed by a dinner which included the aforementioned haggis. Haggis might not have a great reputation outside Scotland and it might be an acquired taste but we are happy to say there were several Undutchables employees who liked it so much that they ended up buying it to bring back to the Netherlands.

The next morning we were driven from the hotel to a large field where we were divided into groups. It was time for the highland games. For the next few hours we competed against each other by throwing tree trunks, playing tug of war and throwing rain boots into tires. In addition to the highland games we also participated in a rugby workshop. All of these activities were accompanied by a nice steady downpour of rain. Although, it must be said, most employees skipped the part of the rugby tutorial where they could body slam into a Scottish rugby player and inevitably fall into the mud afterwards. The few that did were rewarded with mud caked jeans and shoes. After lunch we freshened up and were given some free time. In the evening the group headed out to visit the Famous Grouse Distillery. Here we were treated to a whiskey tasting. Whiskey, as with haggis, seems to be an acquired taste and the opinion amongst the employees was divided. However, during the tasting the whiskey connoisseurs within our group got a chance to further develop their taste buds. Afterwards we had the opportunity to browse around the gift shop for some souvenirs to take back home.

During our final day in Scotland we had a few hours to walk around Edinburgh. Although we had gotten used to the rain, the gray skies and the fog that had surrounded us for two days in the Highlands, the wind in Edinburgh was unexpected. Walking up to Edinburgh Castle was compared to walking into wind blown by a turbojet engine. However, that afternoon 28 windblown but happy employees of the Undutchables boarded a flight back home, refreshed and ready for a new workweek!

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