Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Deborah and TJ in Scotland part two

When last we saw Deborah and TJ in Scotland they were headed to the beach at Lunan Bay. It had warmed up to about 18 degrees but with the wind I don't think felt too balmy. Still it was sunny and Deb took these stunning pictures of Lizzy and TJ.

Deborah says people apologized for the cold weather and could tell she was a tourist by the fact that she was cold enough to wear hats. 

A view toward Dundee which is where Heather works. 

This is the Falkirk Wheel. I'll be honest it freaks me out a bit as all locks and dams do. Don't know why, they just do. Someone went to engineering school and did more than drink beer when they invented this system that replaces the 11 locks that used to connect two waterways of canals that until this wheel was opened in 2002 had been closed since the 1930's. It's pretty cool, you can see it go around here:

It can carry 8 boats at a time and takes 5 and a half minutes to rotate, usually 15 minutes for the whole trip, instead of most of the day as in the past. Each gondola holds 80,000 gallons of water and it doesn't matter how much you ate for lunch because the boats displace their own weight in the water. This means the two gondolas are always balanced so it takes very little power - "roughly the same as boiling eight kettles of water." Which description tickles me mightily because of course everything can be linked to a good cuppa. 

The "horns" don't actually serve a purpose other than to freak me out. The were originally going to house some hydraulic controls but ended up being kept as an "interesting feature."

It's not just pleasure craft and barges that can use the wheel. Commercial craft carrying 200 tons of freight can go too. 

The area is nicely landscaped for having formerly been an "open cast pit."

I think about 4 miles away you would find these beauties called the Kelpies. 100ft high sculptures by Andy Scott put up in 2013 in honour of the work horses of history. A Kelpie is a name given to shape-shifting water spirits that appear horse like in nature but can adopt human form. Almost every body of water in Scotland has a kelpie story but the most famous one is of course at Loch Ness. 

They are made of steel with stainless steel on the outside. 

Not everyone thinks they are great but I like this quote:  Tiffany Jenkins on The Scotsman wrote that "They are impressive, stunning even, and I think people will become attached to them and proud of them. Of course, they will not please everyone, but that it is not possible as no such art work exists".

Moving on to Rosslyn Chapel. There are waaaay too many cool legends about this place to even start but it was featured a lot in the book and movie The DaVinci Code. You can read a little here:

The Isle of Mull with lots of narrow roads and happily wandering sheep. 

And Calgary beach. 

A bit of tropical warmth so the hat could come off!

We'll continue our tour another day. You know it's really too bad I wasn't this interested in learning about things and places when I was in school :-)


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