I had the pleasure of staying 3 nights in Linlithgow, about 20 miles west of Edinburgh, with my beloved host family from the 70s, the Middletons. Grown daughter Val and her family live nearby and on the 1st of my 2 full days in the area, Val and her younger son Luke and I visited Falkirk to experience 1st hand 2 incredible engineering masterpieces: the Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies.
The Falkirk Wheel is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world. Modeled after a double-headed Celtic axe, it raises and lowers boats 79 feet between the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal, connecting the 2 waterways for the 1st time since the 1930s. You can see below a boat entering at the bottom and the corresponding boat carrier on the top, an extension of the canal above. You can read more about the Falkirk Wheel here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkirk_Wheel
Up it goes!
Then it was our turn.
and up - note our boat's counterpart being lowered as we rose.
At the top we scooted down the aquaduct and took a small tour before turning around and heading back to the wheel.
Can you see the lovely view of the highlands? Yeah, neither could we - too cloudy.
Back on terra firma we had a nice lunch.
Luke encouraged me to try a British tradition - a Tunnock's Tea Cake.
It's a globe-shaped s'more!
After enjoying our meal and surviving the gigantic Celtic axe...
we headed back out into the weather for a visit to The Kelpies. Kelpies are legendary Scottish shape shifting sea spirits that lure unsuspecting victims to their death; sometimes they take on the form of a horse, the orginal inspiration for a pair of gigantic sculptures also in Falkirk. With the region's history of metal works and of horses pulling boats along the canals, they're a fitting tribute. You can read more about them here:
We took a tour that enabled us to see the inside structure of 1 of the monuments, really incredible.
In the evening we had a nice dinner out; from left: Val, Stacey, older son John, Luke, Val's husband Paul, Ruth, and Norman.
I am so blessed to be able to spend time with this wonderful family again this year!