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A rare treat....a day out in Scotland!

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After me moaning at Linda recently that ‘we never go anywhere’ these days, Scott decided that today he wanted to go see the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel. Two sights we have been meaning to see for over a year. Actually, the Kelpies are relatively new, but we’ve been talking about seeing the Wheel for years, and never done it. I said I would also like to go back to Stirling Castle as we haven’t been there in about 20 years.

But before we set off, we had to go up the hill to see the cows who were being set free on to the pasture today. Always a thrill to see and hear them enjoy their freedom. Especially the calves, who have been born in the barn over the winter, so have never experienced outdoors at all.

As you can see, it was cloudy and it was cold. I felt a bit sorry for the cows having been cooped up in a warm stuffy barn all winter. It must have been a bit of a shock to feel that cold wind.

So, off we went to Falkirk to see the Kelpies first. They are new statues of some massive scale in a re-generation park. They were designed in Scotland to represent a mythical shape-changing water spirit. The legend goes thus… Kelpie rises out of the sea and traps innocent people, dragging them down in to the water as prey. Sadly there is no Steel industry to speak of in Scotland any more, so they were manufactured in Sheffield and installed on site in Falkirk.

When we left the Kelpies we drove to the Wheel and parked up. This amazing three seater trike was in the car park and I couldn’t resist snapping it. I’ve never seen one before!

So, on to the Falkirk Wheel. An incredible feat of precision engineering. The wheel transports canal traffic from the end of the Union Canal, down to the Forth-Clyde Canal.

It does this by gently lowering and raising a massive concrete structure using electricity no more than a domestic toaster. Incredible! It’s the only one of it’s kind in the world.

This last photo shows you the view you would get if you were in a boat heading for the wheel to take you down.

Does anyone know, is this a female Magpie?

On to the Castle at Stirling. I cant even begin to tell you how great this Castle is to visit. We have such a rich history and I always find it fascinating. The tour guide was brilliant and the renovations by Historic Scotland are beautiful. On top of that, the scenery is abslutely breath-taking. Definitely worth a visit. :)

A couple of views from the castle looking towards Wallace Monument….

And of course, we hadn’t been there more than five minutes before I was locked up…

Have a great weekend everyone! :))

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Comments

 

What a great day out you had Karen! Thank you for showing us the Falkirk Wheel . . . I've always wanted to know what it looked like. (When there was something in the paper about the Queen "opening" it some years ago, they just showed a photo of the Queen!! We already knew what SHE looks like, lol . . . )

8 May, 2015

 

The bird is a jackdaw, Karen. Fascinating to see the wheel, it is something my daughter is keen to see. We saw an old version of it (Anderton boat lift) last year. I hope you wasn't incarcerated for too long :)

8 May, 2015

 

Interesting... I don't think we have magpies over here. I appreciate your sense of humor...kept me going!

9 May, 2015

 

Great blog Karen seeing the Falkirk Wheel was amazing and I loved the Kelpies for such large sculptures they showed such terrific movement.

9 May, 2015

 

They really do Phyl. I have a theory...the metal plates are manufactured flat and then forced in to curves on their frame. I think its that...the tension that the riveting of the plates on to the frame creates in the steel, that gives the statues their amazing movement. I reckon that had they been shaped off the frame they wouldn't be as great....just my theory!

9 May, 2015

 

Bathgate...there was a beautiful Magpie close to this bird in the photo. That is why I wondered if it was a female one. I dont think i've ever seen a Jackdaw before. It was a beauty too.

9 May, 2015

 

Thanks K for showing us......We watched the Canal journies by Timothy and Prunella West......they also visited the Kelpies......one place on our list to see.Did you have a sense of overpowering with their height.....how near could you get?

9 May, 2015

 

Fantastic blog and photo's ,Karen..my kind of day out too,as I love History..The Kelpies and the Wheel are great feats of engineering,aren't they?
Have you been watching a series on TV about Castles? Last week it was about Stirling castle...I only knew of the connection about William Wallace,and Mary,Queen of Scots..I now know a lot more..:o)Thank you for this,I loved it..and yes,definitley a Jackdaw,we get quite a few here..x

9 May, 2015

 

Re. The Kelpies. Anyone can walk right up to them, but if you have paid for a guided tour, you go inside one and see the structure inside out! Do they feel intimidating or overwhelming up close? Not to me, but perhaps to some. You can walk all around them and see the way their expressions and moods see to alter as you travel around and as the light changes.

Thanks everyone!

9 May, 2015

 

Bloomer, thank you. iI haven't seen that series. It sounds good. I'll look it up.

9 May, 2015

 

Forgot to say, I love the Kelpies, and your theory sounds very plausible too, Karen!

9 May, 2015

 

What a great day out. the wheel is amazing! I was thrilled to hear that the kelpies were made in Sheffield, my home town. I thought there was no steel industry left there. Steelworks used to be very exciting places - I was lucky enough to be able to go round them several times from my job.

9 May, 2015

 

The series was called "Secrets of Great British Castles'on channel 5,Karen.. The last one was last night, from Ireland..We recorded it ,and haven't watched it yet.. I think there were four..Warwick,Caernarvon,Stirling and Carrick ..so interesting.I hope you manage to see them on catch up..

9 May, 2015

 

I watched the Canal programme too....I thought the Kelpies magnificent....have I seen in photos that theyare illuminated when its dark?
I'd love to see the falkirk wheel too...maybe one day.

9 May, 2015

 

This is definitely on my wish list, both for the Wheel and the Kelpies. Fabulous photos - thank you!

9 May, 2015

 

Thanks everyone. I'll look for it on catch up Bloomer, thanks. :)

9 May, 2015

 

Yes Pam. They must be lit as I noticed floodlights in the floor around them.

9 May, 2015

 

Thanks for the tour Karen. I found it interesting.

10 May, 2015

 

Really enjoyed this blog Karen. I'd never heard of the wheel before. Its amazing !

11 May, 2015

 

It is amazing Rose. thanks!

11 May, 2015

 

That wheel looks amazing, Karen and what a lovely view of the mountains.
That looks more like a Jackdaw to me (or, at least, something in the crow family)but, I wouldn't be sure!
I hope you got out.......if not, don't worry. I'll start a campaign....'Free the GOY one'

11 May, 2015

 

Ha ha! Thanks Paul. It was a jackdaw. Thank you.

11 May, 2015

 

You really do have some amazing scenery in Scotland Karen, just a shame the weather is a tad wet and cold lol
I found the Kelpies fascinating, they are enormous, what a sight.....I love anything like that, and the wheel too, thanks for the blog, you live and learn on this site.....

12 May, 2015

 

Thanks Angela, I'm ever so glad you liked it. We have been meaning to go since they opened. I love Canals, and we don't have any near us. I think tomorrow will be the nice day of this week. Its too windy to do anything outdoors. Very frustrating..especially when the sun shines like today. The Ash trees are still bare.

12 May, 2015

 

It has been very changeable here, from hot sun, to bitter winds, can't keep up!

16 May, 2015

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