Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Someone asked in the comments yesterday why we chose to come to Falkirk, a small town between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Here's one reason -- The Kelpies.
The Kelpies are massive horse-head sculptures erected in 2013 beside a canal lock in a new park known as The Helix. Created by sculptor Andy Scott, they're 30 meters high and weigh 300 tons apiece. I saw a picture of them on Flickr not long after they went up and ever since then I've wanted to visit.
They're beautiful sculptures, with a lightness and energy that belies their size.
In Scottish mythology, kelpies are shape-shifting water spirits. They are often depicted as horses, but can also assume human form. Scott said he also intended the sculptures to refer to real horses and their labors along the canals, towing barges.
It's interesting to visit them at different times of the day...
...as the light shifts and changes.
The train trip from London was long but uneventful. I read my Ian Rankin mystery (set in Edinburgh, so that seemed appropriate!) and snoozed. When we finally reached Berwick-on-Tweed, which is well north of Newcastle, I thought, "Whew! We're finally close!" And then a sign flashed by that said EDINBURGH 50 MILES. Argh!
We changed in Edinburgh for the train to Falkirk, and had lunch at a pub in town. I had a veggie burger and Dave, of course, had haggis. We finally reached our hotel yesterday afternoon. The hotel is a quaint but slightly quirky place, apparently an older home that has since been surrounded by industry and highways. It has some charm and, according to a sign prominently displayed on the reception desk, is the top local destination for people holding funeral teas.
While Dave had a nap, I took a walk and found myself at The Kelpies almost by accident. They're only about ten minutes away on foot. We'll probably visit again today.
Dinner last night was at a restaurant adjacent to the hotel. It was horrendous. I ordered a martini, because this place purported to be a bar, but if there was any gin in that martini it must have been about an eye-dropper full. It was the wateriest martini I've ever had. Not only could I not taste any gin, I wasn't even buzzed after I finished the drink -- and if you've had a properly made martini you know that should be impossible. I also had a soggy caesar salad with gloopy dressing. Dave had nachos covered in pizza sauce. We won't be going back there!