September 18-20, 2019 – Southwest Scotland
Written by Jim
After leaving the Isle of Skye, we had a few other places we wanted to see before catching our ferry to Ireland. Our route had us going through some beautiful territory to the west of Fort William, our stop the first night. After fueling up and getting groceries, we went to check out Neptune’s Staircase.
That is a series of locks along the Caledonian Canal; a cross-country system of lakes and rivers that connects both coasts.
While we were there, we watched a boat head through. The captain piloted it through while his first mate walked the bow line along. It’s a time-lapse video, so the older gentleman with the cane moves like a teenager. 🙂
After that, we set up camp and went to dinner at a local pub.
The path from the campground to the eating establishment bordered the land where the movie Braveheart was filmed. To the left, shrouded in the clouds, is Ben Nevis…the highest peak in the United Kingdom.
The next morning, we pointed our Scout on a circuitous southward course towards Stirling.
The scenery only got better as we rolled along.
Every corner brought another “Wow!”
After visiting several of Diana’s genealogy sites detailed in her post MacGregor Despite Them, Shall Flourish Forever!, we found ourselves in Stirling. Our destination here was The Kelpies, the largest equestrian sculpture in the world.
What is a kelpie? It is a mythical Scottish water creature that can take on many forms, but is usually a horse. In a sense, the Loch Ness monster could be considered a kelpie. Legend has it that they possess great power and can lure a person to their death. These were very cool stainless steel renderings of those fabled beasts.
On our last stop of the day, we found a very different sort of canal lock system.
This is called the Falkirk Wheel. See the long canal boat at the top? It inches its way to the end of the elevated waterway where a partition rises up at each end. At the same time, a canal boat does the same thing at the bottom of the wheel. Once they are both in…
…they switch positions! Once they are flipped around…
…the gates are opened and away they go.
Looks like a fun way to go back and forth across Scotland! We really enjoyed seeing this beautiful land of many of Diana’s ancestors. Next up, we head across the Irish Sea to Belfast, Northern Ireland to explore the footprints of giants and titans. You won’t want to miss that one! Until then, safe and happy travels to all!