May 16, 2008
It was a short drive from the Forth Bridges to the Falkirk Wheel. That's a boat lift, the one that revolves, and it's really awesome. It connects the Union Canal with the Forth & Clyde Canal near the town of Falkirk. The level difference between the two canals is 35 meters, which suggests the hugeness of this rotating boat lift. Built in 2002, as part of the Millennium Link, it created an uninterrupted link between the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. I'm sure this would be a pleasant cruise.
Mislav had a déjà vu experience on the spot. He was sure he'd already been there. He knew where the lift was, how it worked, everything. It was amazing. Back home, however, he was able to trace the sensation back to a power point presentation in a physics lesson.
Perched high on a rocky crag, Stirling Castle is an excellent example of Renaissance architecture in Scotland. In the esplanade, there is the statue of Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland, who defeated the English army under Edward II at Bannockburn in 1314 and gained recognition of Scottish independence.
The view from the esplanade is terrific and if you know where to look, you can see seven battlefields where the Scots fought for victory over the English forces. The Wallace Monument recalls the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, when the Scots, led by William Wallace, defeated the English. His life was the inspiration for the poem The Acts and Deeds of Sir William Wallace, Knight of Elderslie, by the 15th century minstrel (bard) Blind Harry. Based on this poem, the film Braveheart with Mel Gibson in the leading role, brought this Scottish national hero to a wider audience.