Lockdown easing: Travels #2


Both my husband and I are keen photographers. We also enjoy travelling to new and interesting places: two activities that complement each other beautifully. Our approach to photography differs, however, and one ‘complements’ the other. My husband totes around standard and wide-angle lenses, sometimes setting up a tripod, to capture the atmosphere and scale of a place; I prefer working with telephoto to focus on detail and pattern. Back home we put together screensavers and are able to relive the experience: the journey that keeps on giving.

Yesterday I changed my screensaver to show images captured on a visit to Scotland back in 2016 when we had seen the Kelpies. Today on the News there were the Kelpies lit up in blue to celebrate the NHS. I decided to share my Kelpies photographs as they are a sight truly worth seeing.

The Kelpies rear up by the ‘gateway’ lock on the Forth & Clyde Canal. This waterway links the Forth estuary, via the River Carron, with central Scotland. Approaching from the car park they are indeed awesome and have a solidity that belies the fact that they are constructed from shapes of steel, although each head was made with 300 tonnes of metal.

The people walking around the base give scale to these enormous structures.

There are wide pathways at the base of the two heads so that you are able to experience their grandeur from an entirely different perspective. At the time I was using a wheelchair and it was possible for my husband to push me to vantage points where I could snap away.

Our visit was in November, a month not usually suited to outdoor exhibits. It proved to be perfect. With the nights drawing in early, and the benefit of a clear sky, we were able to witness the magical spectacle for quite some time. To see just some of the changing colours click on the arrows to scroll through the slideshow below:

Wrapped up well and warmed with a very welcome coffee we sat mesmerised. The cafe and shop had ample seating for those who preferred to be inside and huge windows gave uninterrupted views as the light show unfolded.

Why Kelpies?
  • In Scottish legend a kelpie is a pretty elusive creature. A shape-shifting water spirit it haunted rivers and streams, lochs and pools, usually in the form of a horse although it could take on human form.
  • The Scottish Gaelic words for a heifer or colt are ‘cailpeach’ or ‘colpach’.
  • The giant heads are a tribute to the majestic working horses who were the powerhouses of the early industrial revolution, pulling canal barges laden with goods and materials along the waterways system.

For a memorable experience suited to all ages and ability a visit to see the Kelpies takes some beating. As I mentioned, I was in a wheelchair and can’t really recall the distance from the car park so I’d recommend a look at the website.

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Thank you for reading.
Marilyn X

Stay well. Stay safe.
Stay alert to our wonderful world and its possibilities to educate and entertain.