Falkirk Kelpies and Wheel

Falkirk’s Engineering feats

Our first stop in Scotland  was Falkirk, where we were lucky to arange a hotel just a 10-minute walk to the famous Kelpies. First a great Italian meal at a nearby restaurant recommended by the hotel clerk. Ther it was a walk through a woods in the dark but well worth the effort of staying awake to see this amazing combination of art and engineering. For those not up on your Scotish lore A kelpie, or water kelpie, is a shape-shifting spirit inhabiting lochs.

The next day we went back to the Kelpies, (not so striking in the daylight) and then rode the Forth and Clyde canal trail to the other side of town to see the amazing “Wheel” rotating boat lift. It’s the only one of its type. It replaced the 11 locks that used to connect the Forth and Clyde to the Union Canal. It’s an amazing feat of engineering and design. You might wonder if it would be unbalanced if there were more boats going up than down… but no, due to Archimedes displacement principle the two boat tanks weigh exactly the same. You might wonder if it requires massive power to operate… but no, but as much as boiling a few cups of tea due to the balance between the two. You might wonder why the rotation doesn’t cause the tanks to tip and spil the water… they actually run about the rim on railroad wheels to stay level.

There was an interesting playground that educated children all about the Archimedes Principal which dates to the 3rd centru BC.

The mythical Loch Kelpies at Falkirk

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