Outside Glasgow – Forth Bridge, The Kelpies and Falkirk Wheel
Although not as famous as Edinburgh, a city 1 hour away from it, Glasgow and its surrounding has plenty to offer. Before and after my tour around Glasgow, I went to see the Fourth Bridge a bridge recently in the UNESCO world heritage list, the Kelpies sculpture and the Falkirk Wheel.
There used to be a phrase in English language ‘It is like painting the Forth Bridge’ which had meant a job that is never done. Because of the length of the bridge, it took so long to paint it, that as soon as they get to the end of the bridge, they have to start again from the beginning to maintain the colour.
In 2011 they found a paint that will last more than 20 years therefore the phrase is now abandoned. Its legendary reputation does not only come from the phrase, it was build in 1890, weighing 53,000 tonnes and spans 1,5 miles. When it was constructed it was one of the most ambitious projects of its kind ever attempted, and at its peak, more than 4,500 men were employed building it. (via BBC) It was a great engineering achievement of the time.
To get to see the bridge closely you can get a train from Glasgow or Edinburgh that passes the North Queensferry train station. A short walk downhill will get you to a small bay with several pubs, where you can sit, have a drink and admire the bridge.
Apologies for the terrible photo, it was a really foggy day.
Combine the visit to the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel. Take the train to Falkirk from either Glasgow or Edinburgh. There is a tourist bus from outside the station that you can pay £5 for an all day ticket, which will transport you from these places. Here is their website.
I would recommend to get a guided tour of the site, just not only you would get the full story but you also get to go inside the heads of the Kelpies.
Kelpies are actually names of Scottish river nymph, which takes forms in many alluring being. You’d have to google to find out more or better yet, go on the tour. These horse heads kelpies sculpture made by Glasgian – Andy Scott, is truly magnificent, it seems so alive, if you walk around it, different angles gives you different movement. Here are some pics.
A must must see if you are ever in that direction.
I am sure you know by now, I love design and architecture, if you are like me you would be interested in this wheel. It is a rotating boat lift. It is a very unique way to solve a problem of the water canal being a lot higher than the aquaduct (11meters).
I think it is a cross between of engineering genius and novelty. I won’t bore everyone with the facts, you can just read more here. The website of the wheel can be found here. What I can tell you it is so much fun to experience it that I am thinking of a Canal boat holiday to try it out on a proper boat. Well watch this space.
Have you seen any great engineering/design product lately? do share.