Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Falkirk Wheel

Hello Again,

Here is something you don't see everyday and that's because this is the only one in the world: this is the Falkirk Wheel which is a large wheel that lifts boats and barges between the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal in western central Scotland and replaces the 11 locks that were necessary to move ship traffic between the two.

I'm not going to go into detail about the Wheel, but instead I urge you to read the Wikipedia article about it by clicking on the link above. And I also urge you to Google Image it online as you can see it from different angles. But I did get to go there and see it for myself and it's really amazing. It's quite large as you would expect and it just strikes me as so inventive and creative a way to accomplish lifting a barge. Incredible.

Anyway here are the photos I took:

These first two photos I took show the wheel in the "up" position and if you look at both the front and the rear of the wheel you can see how much of a vertical distance there is between the canals:

Here is a photo of it moving:

This is a much clearer photo of the wheel. Visitors can ride the wheel on a small barge and you can see this in this and the next photo:

We got to ride in the barge. It takes about 20 minutes for the wheel to lift a barge from one canal to the other:

Here we are inside of the barge waiting for the lift to begin. The water here is about knee deep:

Notice the huge gear wheel:

And here we are on the "top" of the wheel. The barge then exited the wheel, made a short turn around and went back into the wheel and came down:

Ha! Ha! This little fellow was visiting the Wheel with his mom, dad, and little brother and he was a wiggle worm the whole time. He and I kept waving at each other and I finally took a photo of him and told him I was taking his photo back home with me. He really seemed to like that.

In the next 2 photos we are in the process of turning around so we could float back down to the visitor center:

Here we had turned around and were slowly dropping down:

This is the visitor center. We're almost back down to where we started:

It was a really hot day and this capped off a long lovely drive in the Scottish countryside.



  1. Fabulous words capturing the experience. Do you want a pic of me sitting with my cuppa and burnt heid ? Tee hee