2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Scotland - Kelpies

We drove through Falkirk to another part of the canal to see the Kelpies. From the outer parking lot, we walked alongside the canal.  We saw this swan pulling up vegetation and throwing it into the water flow. Turns out the male uproots aquatic vegetation, grasses and sedges, and transfers it to the female, who will first pile it up high and then uses her body to form a depression to place her eggs in.

He's giving that grass a good tug here.

We pass another lock.

The canal headed to the Kelpies

The Kelpies are 100-foot-high horse-head sculptures, standing next to the canal in a park created for them, called The Helix. They were designed by sculptor Andy Scott and completed in October 2013. There's a visitor center which offers tours. 

An extension of the canal actually passes through the lock located between the two sculptures.  Kelpies, or water kelpies, is the Scots name given to a shape-shifting water spirit inhabiting the lochs and pools of Scotland. It has usually been described as appearing as a horse, but is able to adopt human form.

Our tour guide had names for each kelpie.  Wished I could remember them....

Our tour included a stop inside the heads down kelpie.  Their outer "skin" is created with 928 unique stainless steel plates.

The door is a heavy piece that swivels inward.

I think he sees you.

Canal between the sculptures

Scotland - Falkirk Wheel

This is truly amazing...
I didn't know about boat lifts but the idea can be traced back to a design based on balanced water filled caissons in a book that was written in 1777. A similar design was used for lifts on Britain's Grand Western Canal in 1835.  The ship lift at China's Three Gorges Dam, completed in January 2016, is 370 feet high and able to lift vessels of up to 3,000 tons displacement
The Falkirk Wheel connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The lift is named after Falkirk, the town in which it is located. It opened in 2002 and reconnects the two canals for the first time since the 1930s.

You can't see it from this angle but there's a boat in the left arm of the lift.


Where the canal feeds into the wheel

The lock holding the water in the basin

Here's a canal boat preparing to load for a trip down the canal

The canal leaves the wheel to continue downstream but there's a bridge coming up.

It's a bridge that swivels out of the way.

Boat entering the wheel

Looks like the barricades came up so the wheel can start to turn.

A boat loads into the upper part of the wheel

And another loads on the lower arm.

And within 5 minutes, they've changed places.