We traveled outside Edinburgh today to see the sights of Falkirk. On our last trip, we visited the Falkirk Wheel and Brad had the biggest smile on his face! We wanted to repeat that experience and share it with our friends.
It was a relatively short train trip to Falkirk. The weather was rainy but being from Oregon that didn’t bother us much. We walked about 1-1/2 miles from the Falkirk High station to the wheel, along the canal tow path. It was a lovely walk in a quiet rural setting. We saw a few rabbits, some ducks and a few swans along the way.
First stop was the Falkirk Wheel. This photo is of Brad at the top of the wheel. This amazing facility was built to replace a series of 11 locks that connected two canals. It used to take about 9 hours to traverse from one canal to the other. The canal locks were closed in the 1930’s but the Scots decided to reconnect the canals for the millennium. The design is two giant “bathtubs” that rotate on a wheel. Boats can enter the top and bottom “bathtubs” and rotate up or down to the opposite side. We took a short boat ride to experience how the wheel works.
The wheel visitor center also has a miniature version of The Kelpies. These were the original versions of the horse sculptures, which were recreated much larger in Helix Park. You can see the bottom part of the wheel behind the mini Kelpies in this photo of the four of us.
After our visit (which was complete with a fire evacuation during our lunch), we decided to hoof it to the Kelpies for a four mile walk along the canal. The terrain varied more than the first walk we undertook, with some sections in towns, some in industrial areas, and some in rural areas. The first view of the Kelpies was so exciting … off in the distance, seemingly in the middle of a field. They are about 100 feet high and very impressive!
We were so tired from all of our walking that we decided to forego a tour of The Kelpies. That would have given us an opportunity to go inside one of them … but we all had gotten in nearly 23,000 steps and couldn’t fathom 45 minutes more of them. We were able to walk right up to The Kelpies and you can see the scale and some of the details of construction in the picture with Dee Ann and Hal standing next to one of them.
After the train ride back, we kept it low key with dinner right downstairs at the Burger & Brew. Then it was time to pack up for our last night in Edinburgh and our departure for Fort William the next day.