Monday, July 14, 2008

scotland---day one

We made it!!!

We left yesterday evening after Steve got off of work. I drove for about 180 miles and then stopped for the evening--we saw a hotel and did not want to take a chance of not finding another one.

We loaded up the van and were back on the road at 8:00am. I drove the final 200 miles through fog, cloudy, gray skies, but arrived to beautiful blue skies in Helensburgh. We collected the keys for the townhouse we are renting, unloaded the van, and then when over to our friend's townhouse (they came up on Saturday) to see what the plan was for the day.

30 minutes after arriving, we loaded back into the vans--the guys in one with Emma and Mason and Stephanie in with me along with Michaela and Michael. We drove towards the Highlands to see the Falkirk Wheel--the world's only rotating boat lift. This engineering marvel was opened 6 years ago to link two canals that are at different levels so that canal travel could be completed between northern and southern Scotland. The engineering behind it is extraordinary.

Above the boat lift is a section of Roman defense wall, the Antonine Wall (same use as the Hadrian's Wall in England.)

The Antonine Wall, begun in AD 142 during the reign of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius , consisted of a turf rampart set on a stone foundation stretching 37 miles across central Scotland. A broad ditch was dug in front of the Wall as part of the overall defenses, and the fill from this ditch formed a low mound to the north.

Everyone is sleeping--resting for our adventure tomorow searching for Nessie at Loch Ness!!!!!!!