Thursday, August 16.
Headed off this morning towards Glasgow with a couple of deviations.
First stop was the Swedish Embassy to collect a couple of items for Linda. Why is she outside the playground?
Next off, we stopped at ‘The Kelpies.’ Kelpies, according to the Scots, are mythological creatures that can take many forms. It is said that if you touch a Kelpie, you will stick to it and it will take you under the water, hence you will drown. Nessie is deemed to be a Kelpie.
The Kelpies in this case take the form of two stainless steel draught horses. Standing at 30 metres high, sitting in water, they look out over the surrounding countryside with spectacular presence. They are the largest equine art forms in the world. There is an example by the same artist in Queensland. For all the non Aussie readers, that is in Australia.
These things are really big.
Part of the canal system which transverses Scotland.
This bloke knew what he was doing.
Horsee not Horsey!
People at base give an idea of the size.
Yep, she has been here too!
The scale and accuracy of these is amazing.
Couple of the locals waiting for high tide.
Would you believe it, beach huts on a canal.
Need to push harder than that.
They’re sculptures, you don’t have to feed them.
Not a bad way to travel.
Pretty spectacular. On to our next stop at the ‘Falkirk Wheel.’ If the Kelpies impressed you then this will blow your mind. This is an amazing piece of engineering. Utilising the Archimedean Principle, this is unbelievable. The wheel, using the shape of a whales skeleton raises canal boats 27 metres from one canal to the next in less than 5 minutes. On a busy day it will move around 87 boats in a day, and averages around 1500 in an 11 month season. When it was built 11 years ago, they predicted 3 boats a month.
The wheel connects the Union Canal with the Forth and Clyde Canals. Can carry 100 elephants and uses the power of 8 toasters, is the worlds first and only rotating boat lift and each gondola holds 500,000 litres of water.
Snug by the canal.
Got to love an Airstream.
Here it is. Each gondola, off which there are two, carries 300 tonnes of water and boat. Each gondola can carry two boats, which means less water as the total weight must equal 300 tonnes. Once both gondolas are loaded, they pump just 100kgs of water into the top one and gravity and gears do the rest. So simple.
I found this fascinating. The swans know when the wheel is operating, and will catch it up to the upper canal in the morning and Vic a versa in the afternoon.
Poetry in motion.
All aboard for a ride to the top. Rides can only fit in with the normal boat traffic. If the traffic is high the rides do not run.
Moving into the gondola at the bottom.
Arriving at the top to connect with the aqueduct.
Moving out of the gondola onto the aqueduct at the top.
The aqueduct connects with a tunnel under the Roman Antonine Wall.
Two stage Loch on the other side of the tunnel which raises the boats another 10 metres.
Back through the tunnel.
Viaduct with wheel in the distance.
Bess down in the car park.
Coming into the gondola at the top of the wheel. Hope his brakes work.
Coming out of the wheel at the bottom. You can see the other gondola up the top.
One of the life buoys. Me Perry, take a closer look at what type of buoy it is. Could it be a go, no go gauge?
What a great sign.
Haven’t you finished that yet?
Some great stonework.
Back on the road to Glasgow. No prior warning of this tunnel. It was 10.3 metres high, we are 20.1. Held our breath for a while.
Passed through what would have to have been a mining village. No shortage of chimney stacks.
Train viaduct approaching the motorway.
Parked up at the same camp ground we were at last year with the Hendo’s. We were parked where the caravan under the tree is.
Nic and Clare were camped here.