30 things to do before 30: a wheely good day out

You know you're getting old... when you listen to Smooth on the radio every so often and enjoy it.

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  • Cat and Claire take in the Falkirk Wheel
    Cat and Claire take in the Falkirk Wheel
  • The Falkirk Wheel
  • The giant onion rings

When you actually put the TV on to watch the news.

When you feel content when your washing and ironing is up to date.

When you look forward to Sunday night tele,

When you find yourself going to bars where you can 'hear each other talk'.

Ok, so this might not be a scientific list but it's something I've noticed. So you may not be surprised to find out that my third destination for my 30 places was...the one and only Falkirk Wheel!

February has been a tough one to plan if I'm honest. My sister is expecting my second niece or nephew any day now. I was in China when my niece Olivia was born two years ago so as you can imagine I don't want to miss this one. Farther afield trips will just have to wait till next month and the months that follow. I have all year after all.

Anyway back to the trip, it had to be close by, but out of Glasgow and give us something to do. The wheel won. As a landmark tourist attraction, my friend Claire and I decided to check it out.

The Falkirk wheel, finished in 2002, is the link between two very historic canals. The Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. It is the world's first and only boat lift. Impressive! Claire and I got to the sight and had a wander round the shop then purchased our tickets. There is an information wall and miniature model of the wheel telling you some historic facts about the importance of the canals and then how the wheel itself works. It was a bit of a drizzly day so perhaps not the best time for a good view.

Our 'guide' Kim, seemed somewhat nervous on the mic but was informative. It takes only four minutes for the wheel to turn. Which way?! Well Claire was hoping for a clockwise direction - she doesn't like anti-clockwise. So it was obviously going to be anti-clockwise on our way up just to prove a point! This was amusing, especially since it was one of those things I hadn't even considered. However the control guy needs to do the same amount of rotations in both directions to keep the mechanisms working and so clockwise on the way back down. Phew! Happy Claire!

The whole boat ride took an hour, amazing where the time goes and considering it was a dull Sunday in February the place was reasonably busy. It really was a bit random. You're sitting in a boat, you don't feel like your even moving and the next thing you know your 35m higher than you were, continuing your travel on the canal. The wheel really is a remarkable piece of engineering.

So after all that excitement we headed into a very grey Falkirk for some lunch. We went to a bar bistro named Johnstone's. We ordered and what came were our sandwiches, side of chips, and the biggest onion rings I have ever seen in my life. So much so it was a bit scary to think about the size of the actual onion that was used to make the giant side dish. Mind blowing!! The food was delicious and we really enjoyed it, so much so we squeezed in a wee chocolate and hazelnut dream cake between us, well.... it's less calories if you half it! As the bistro busied up the service got slower but on the whole a lovely lunch.

Back to my car, named jiffy, and we were homeward bound. Three down, twenty-seven to go!

Food and drink

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