Scotland Bound – 21st May 2022

We have been scheming with Wolfgang and Marlene for a while now to head up north to Scotland and hire a boat on the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. These two canals link Glasgow to Edinburgh.

We organised the hire from back in Canada as it was easier for us to do even though Marlene and Wolfgang speak perfectly good English. It can be overwhelming when you hit someone with a Scottish accent on the end of the phone talking at a great rate of knots and English is not your first language.

So Friday 21st May meant it was back into the scary car. We drew short straws as to who got the crash test dummy seat. It was decided that we would each have to take turns.

So, out of the marina we did head.

Leaving England in the sunshine we then encountered rain right on the Scottish border – how predictable was that.

Driving around the outskirts of Glasgow we made our way to the Marina where we were introduced to our boat Yasmin.

For the next two weeks she will be our home away from home. Tight quarters for four adults but we are all use to narrowboats so learn to accommodate for one another’s space.

The map above shows the not so extensive canal system in Scotland. The southerly canal is the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal which are the ones we are attempting.

A more detailed map showing ou where we joined the boat at Falkirk on the Forth and Clyde Canal. So tomorrow we head off in an easterly direction towards Edinburgh once we drop down onto the Union Canal via the Falkirk Wheel which is certainly one of the modern wonders of the canal system.

Our first task, once we loaded on all our belongings was to move Yasmin up one lock and into the basin below the Falkirk Wheel. This is where we will spend the night.

What is so different about these two canals we are doing is that we will not be doing any of the locks. They are all manned by volunteers and we don’t even get a windlass so we can do them ourselves. On the Union Canal, there are only another two locks up the top of the wheel and then no other locks the entire way into Edinburgh.

This photo is for Fraser’s mum who is a very talented basket maker and can appreciate what work has gone into creating this fabulous statue. We are not sure what kind of twigs have been used to create this but the result is very clever.

The Falkirk Wheel by night!  We will go into how it all works in tomorrows blog where we hope to have some video footage and more information regarding  why it was constructed.

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