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Day 051: Glasgow, Scotland

Posted by on 2014/07/09

Day 051: Greenock (Glasgow), Scotland
Position: N 56º 03′ 50″ W 003º 55′ 23″
Weather: 23ºC wind 5kts, waves 1m
Last Port: Dublin, Ireland
Next Port: Le Havre, France
Status: In Port

From the Navigator
Early this morning we altered our course to the north west and entered the north channel which separates northern Ireland from Scotland. Shortly after we will alter our course to starboard and enter the Firth of Clyde passing the Mull of Kintyre and Island Arran on our port side as we make our way towards Greenock. We will board our pilot at 0600 and proceed up the Firth of Clyde towards the rive Clyde and anticipate being alongside our berth by 0800. Once everyone has returned on board we will maneuver off the berth and retrace our steps out of the Firth of Clyde. Once clear we will alter course to the south east through the north channel, passing the Isle of Man back into the Irish Sea.

Entering the port of Glasgow

Entering the port of Glasgow

Fortress along the river

Fortress along the river

An elegant residence

An elegant residence

The Falkirk Wheel, in action

The Falkirk Wheel, in action

Sailing into the wheel

Sailing into the wheel

Departing Glasgow, a view from our cabin

Departing Glasgow, a view from our cabin

Ed & Michelle in Scotland at the Falkirk Wheel

Visiting the Falkirk Wheel

We traversed the scenic Scottish landscape en route one of Scotland’s oldest towns, Sterling. Set amongst rocky crags and the winding river Forth, this charming town, which is the gateway to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, is known as Scotland’s crossroads between the Highlands and Lowlands. To visit is to step back in time. We wandered through many quaint shops and had a sandwich lunch at a local bistro. It was great to discover one of my favourite outfitters, Mountain Warehouse with a shop in town. We stocked up on cold weather gear for the next leg of our journey to Denmark, Norway, and the Faroe Islands.

Also in Sterling is the historic and majestic Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally. Constructed between 1490 and 1600, the castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag which is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Stirling was besieged sixteen times during its long and bloody history, and several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned there, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1543.

Later in the day we toured one of the engineering marvels of the 21st century – The Falkirk Wheel. Inaugurated in 2002 by Queen Elizabeth II, this massive wheel, which resembles a giant screw, is the world’s only rotating boat lift, lifting or lowering canal boats between two waterways. A century ago, eleven locks connected Glasgow’s Clyde Canal with Edinburgh’s Union Canal. The locks spanned the 79-foot difference in elevation between the canals. Today, this impressive wheel accomplishes the job simply, in one slow turn. We boarded a canal boat, sailed across the aqueduct, and entered the lock to be lifted into space from one waterway and gently deposited in another.

While wandering about in Scotland, we were warned to pay attention to our money. When paying with GBP, the vendors often return local Scottish currency, backed by a local bank. Merchants close to a certain bank will generally honor the local currency one for one. But woe betide thee who tries to use Scottish Pounds anywhere else! You’ll discover the notes are nothing but fancy souvenirs. Sure enough, we had already collected quite a few of these foreignly suspect notes, but were able to deftly convert them into equipment needed back aboard ship.

 

Tour Overview

Begin your full-day, moderately active adventure at your pier where you will board a motorcoach. Then sit back and relax as you traverse the scenic Scottish landscape en route to one of the engineering marvels of the 21st century – The Falkirk Wheel!

Inaugurated in 2002 by Queen Elizabeth II, this massive wheel, which resembles a giant screw, is the world’s only rotating boat lift, lifting or lowering canal boats between two waterways. A century ago, eleven locks connected Glasgow’s Clyde Canal with Edinburgh’s Union Canal. The locks spanned the 79-foot difference in elevation between the canals. Today, this impressive wheel accomplishes the job simply, in one slow turn.

For a firsthand opportunity to see exactly how the wheel works, disembark your motorcoach and board a canal boat. Then, sail across an aqueduct and watch in wonder as your boat is lifted into space from one waterway and gently lowered to another.
Following your exhilarating experience, enjoy some free time for photo opportunities of this amazing wheel or to browse the small gift shop for souvenirs. Then reboard your motorcoach and set out for your next destination.

Step back in time as you arrive in Stirling, one of Scotland’s oldest towns. Set amongst rocky crags and the winding river Forth, this charming town, which is the gateway to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, is known as Scotland’s crossroads between the Highlands and Lowlands.

Disembark your motorcoach at a designated rendezvous close to Stirling’s center and then set out for two hours of free time to explore on your own! Take time to peruse the town’s many quaint shops or enjoy a traditional lunch at one of the local pubs. Fish ‘n’ Chips anyone?

During your free time you may also choose to tour the historic and majestic Stirling Castle on your own, one of Scotland’s largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally. Constructed between 1490 and 1600, the castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag which is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Stirling was besieged sixteen times during its long and bloody history, and several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned there, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1543.

Following your scintillating day of discovering both the old and the new of Scotland, re-board your motorcoach at a predetermined location for your scenic drive back to your pier and your Princess at Greenock.

Thanks for sharing our story!

2 Responses to Day 051: Glasgow, Scotland

  1. Joseph

    Hey Uncle Eddie,
    How’s the weather over in Scotland?

    • admin

      Believe it or not, it was a heat wave: 28ºC! The locals couldn’t believe it. They told us it was average 14ºC during the summer time up there. The sky was blue with high cirrus clouds. Unfortunately I decided to wear my long sleeve compass shirt from Magellan’s. Good thing the shirt has sleeves that roll up!