On our way to Edinburgh last weekend...
Ren Man had a nice surprise for our visitors from Texas who are huge boating enthusiasts.
We have explored the possibility of a canal boat cruise through Scotland and England, and the lock system on these canals are impressive and challenging enough for my brain to comprehend...
so our visit to the...
still amazes as I reminisce.
The Forth & Clyde canal lies 115 feet below the level of the Union Canal.
Now let's stop right there. You leave Edinburgh, and are moseying along on your boat cruising down the Forth & Clyde on your way to Glasgow and then all of the sudden, woah!
You hit a wall and the Union canal, the body of water to continue your travels is 115 feet, or 35 meters above.
Previously, a boat would go through the time consuming series of 11 locks to either raise the boat up or down depending on the direction of travel.
However, this link was broken back in 1933.
In a fitting commemoration of the Millenium,
the worlds first and only boat lift that rotates like a ferris wheel,
was designed with an international collaboration,
constructed in Derbyshire,
reassembled in Falkirk,
and officially opened by the Queen in May of 2002.
Once the boat is inside the gondola filled with 600 tons of water,
the gondola on the other side is filled with equal amounts of water all based on Archimedes' principal of displacement, and the hydraulic gears work just like Spyrograph...
well, maybe a little different...
to lift you in about four minutes to the level of the Union Canal.
For those of you that need, like me, a visual on this whole concept...
check out their website video.
The Olympic Torch even traveled the canals...
|Photo: Falkirk Wheels Facebook Page|
across the wheel.
Now, this simple minded gal was thoroughly impressed...
but the two engineers sitting behind me were in awe...
that ten hydraulic motors were all that was needed to provide the minimal 1.5 kw of electricity necessary to rotate this ginormous wheel.
Pretty cool field trip!