My Dad and Jan recently made a trip to Glasgow and while they were there, they took a trip out to Falkirk. They went to see a new sculpture called the Kelpies which I would certainly like to take a look at if I get back up that way. Google it in the mean time. They also went to see the Falkirk Wheel. This is something we saw a few years ago. We were visiting friends in Falkirk en route to a wedding of some other friends.
The wheel is a mechanism for raising boats between two levels of a canal. The canal is no longer in full operation but this section has been restored for visitors. Instead of a traditional lock system, the wheel has two elements that hold water and boats that are at opposing ends and counterbalance each other. The whole thing rotates to lift or lower boats from the lower basin to the upper basin.
You can take a boat ride on the lift if you have the time. We had a limited time there so we just watched it in operation. Not only is it a cool piece of engineering but it is also elegantly designed. Definitely one to see if you are close.
As part of the regeneration program that is underway in Oklahoma City, an area known as Bricktown is becoming a focus of development. It is a short walk from the heart of downtown. What was there before I don’t know but I imagine bricks had something to do with it. There are a lot of restaurants, bars and hotels in the area with a canal structure running through them. It is also the home of the minor league baseball stadium.
I stopped off for dinner one night after wandering around the city a bit. After my meal, I was walking back to the hotel and grabbed a few shots of the area. It was pretty dark and I had the ISO ramped way up but you can get a bit of a feel for the area. You can also see the lights of the baseball stadium in the background. I guess that they had a game that night. There are also horse drawn carriages plying their trade on the streets. This was a familiar sight when we lived in Chicago. They have gone to town on the lighting of these examples though. I guess it helps get some attention.
Aside from the visit to the zoo in Indy, we also too the opportunity to look around some of the city center. We were staying close to the canal and the capitol in the downtown area so were able to take a wander around without having to drive anywhere.
The canal seems to be a popular area with a bunch of development having gone on around it. I imagine it has been developed in stages since some of the areas seemed very new while others had obviously been around a bit longer.
There were some nice fountains, cafes, residential developments and bridges along the canal. It was nicely laid out and seemed to be popular with people riding bikes and running along the banks. Obviously not just tourists like us taking a look.
There are a couple of monuments along the canal. One is for medal of honor recipients and another is for the battleship USS Indianapolis which was lost with a heavy loss of life towards the end of the Second World War. Both where simply done but very interesting.
We also wandered over to the Capitol and the surrounding area. One part of it is something that I have seen many times whenever the Colts have a home game and the TV crews show surrounding city shots between plays. Interesting to finally see something for real that has been on TV so many times before.
Had a really nice time in Indy and found everyone to be unbelievably friendly and helpful. I wouldn’t be surprised to head back at some point.