Scottish National Trail: Along the Forth & Clyde Canal (day 3)

Today 30km | Total: 85km

We leave the Union canal behind us and now follow the Forth and Clyde canal towards Glasgow. The canal is a little wider, feels more natural (water lilies etc) and makes for an easy, flat walk. Ever so often we pass by locks that manage the water levels and marinas in little towns full with riverboats. We also keep bumping into people for a chat. Many don’t know where Cape Wrath is – those that do, are usually in disbelief or burst into laughter given the distance.

For night 3, we put up camp in a cornfield close to the canal and take a bath with cold canal water. Feels good though. Our choice of food (Nepalse Bhat soup) had some undesired side effects, but was tasty. Before it was bed time we enjoyed a game of cards.

The night was pretty windy and wet. Rain lastet all the way into the morning and so we ‘slept in’.

Laura’s comment (day 3): Hoy fue un dia muy provechoso, el clima nos permitió caminar lo suficiente; encontrar el lugar para el camping no fue fácil, pero finalmente hallamos un lugar seco y fresco para descansar, con una rica sopa preparada por Ronny.

Scottish National Trail: Linlithgow, amazing tunnels & Falkirk Wheel (day 2)

Today: 35km | Total: 55km

The weather was nicer today, but the day much longer with a total of 35km. The trail continues flat as a pancake on paved tow path along the canal. Including breaks it took us 10h to complete. On our way we visited historical Linlithgow, walked through some tunnels along the union canal reminiscent of caves and camped by the enormous rotating boat lift called the Falkirk Wheel. The wild berries on the way are also very tasty!

Laura’s comment (day 2): Hoy en nuestro segundo día. El dolor en las piernas era muy fuerte, los zapatos son un poco más suaves, pero el dolor continúa.  A medida que avanzamos en nuestro camino los paisajes son más hermosos, para finalizar el día llegamos a La Rueda de Falkirk, un hermoso atardecer, un poco de comida, y mucho descanso para nuestro próximo día.

The Union Canal

The Union Canal, full name the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal, is a canal in Scotland, running from Falkirk to Edinburgh, constructed to bring minerals, especially coal, to the capital. It was opened in 1822 and was initially successful, but the construction of railways, particularly the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, which opened in 1842, diminished its value as a transport medium. It is 31 miles and after many years of closure was reopened in 2002 for leisure purposes.

Linlithgow 🏰 ⛪ – Back to Queen Mary of Scots

Home to one of Scotlands finest medieval palaces where Queen Mary of Scots was born (predecessor of Queen Elizabeth). Right next to it the fine St Michael church. Was really fun to stroll around. Some decent food options available too.

Falkirk Wheel 🎡 – Boat lift with a spin

The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift in central Scotland, connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal for the first time since 1930. It was built in 2002 as part of the Millenium link project. The wheel lifts boats by 24m. Thereafter are another 11m covered by locks to reach the level of the Union canal. Here a video of how that looks like. At night the wheel is lit up in colours, which makes for a pretty sight. The canal is also great for a swim though Laura still has a different view on water quality 💦

Physical update 🏥 😷 💉

I feel pretty good and the boots get more comfortable by the mile (obviously, as the day goes on you feel the mileage more). Little sore back from the load (in my lightweight, but not well cushioned blue ice rucksack) and one blister. Laura struggles a bit more with some pain in her left knee and also a first blister.