I have about 3 more days left in Scotland before heading back to the US. It’s been a pretty great trip. I’ve done kind of a greatest hits list of favorite parts of Scotland with my parents along with some cool new experiences (and a first ever trip to Ireland/Dublin). I’ve managed to put a new one on my greatest hits list: The Falkirk Wheel.
It’s a pretty gearhead thing to do. It’s the world’s largest boat lift. It’s basically two bathtubs in balance. Thanks to physics, they stay balanced no matter how much boat you put in them. If you put a 1 ton floating object into 5 tons of water, the floating object displaces 1 ton of water - meaning your total is still 5 tons. That also makes it super easy to move the wheel. Going 180 degrees (top to bottom or bottom to top) takes the same amount of power as boiling 8 kettles of tea.
For about $16 USD you get a 1 hour boat ride from bottom to top then back down to bottom again - complete with witty banter from your boat captain. The views from roughly 35 meters above are great.
Apparently, there was a huge series of locks originally on the canal network. But when they decided to restore the canals in Scotland, the locks had been filled in and now there were apartments there. So in order to connect the Union to the Forth & Clyde, they came up with this thing. It’s seriously awesome and a short drive from Stirling, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Total recommend. 9/10. Loses 1 point for not having race mode but 5 minutes from one end to the other is still pretty good.