Much of the planning for this trip centres around engineering. We aim to see the constructions, buildings and creations that make us giddy. Yes, we will visit lots of natural wonders too. But it is the industrialisation story that is key in this trip. Much more of that to come.
We have already visited the Falkirk Wheel as an engineering example. The trip to Concorde was special for similar reasons. Yesterday, after the Steall Falls, we took a delightful wander along an old lock system called the Neptune Steps.
Earlier this week we spent an afternoon around the Edinburgh bridges. They are spectacular. We also discovered that the little village under the bridges is a delight not to miss.
The middle bridge opened in 1964 but became overloaded by the 1990s. It needed help to move Scots across the Forth. It took a while but in 2017 the Queen opened the Queensferry Crossing.
The bridges have their detractors but as engineering examples I think they look wonderful. The road bridge is now dedicated to public transport, cycle and pedestrian traffic only. Perhaps this is to appease some of the detractors.
The new Queensferry Crossing has a projected lifespan of 120 years. But if the original bridge is anything to go by. It will be there quite a while. The railway bridge is already 128 years old. It had a full restoration in 2012 to bring it back to original condition.
From the moment I saw the new bridge across the Scottish hill tops, I thought of Millau in France. Almost 10 years ago I made a special trip to drive across the Millau Viaduct in southern France. This Queensferry Crossing looks quite similar.
So we loved the bridges but we also enjoyed the village below, Queensferry. It is a delightful little place of old cobbled streets and pretty buildings. We even managed a minor miracle in today’s UK.
Legal, legitimate, untimed free parking.
We stood in this open parking place with other bemused travellers. Visitors from Australia, France and Canada all hunting the pay machine. Till some broad Scots accent called across to us -
So we explored the place and took another SD card of photos.
I have to admit though, Queensferry is also the first place I found my Grumpy Old Man again. He has been so quiet and tame for a long while.
I don't respond well when told which table I must sit at in a coffee shop. Especially when it is too small for anything larger than an espresso. And it abuts the coffee making facilities. My Grumpy Old Man wanted to let them know how grumpy he could be. But I managed to quiet him down by just leaving.
I didn’t even slam the door.
Queensferry is also the place Siri scared me. She is doing such a glorious job of directing us across this place. Yes, she can become not too responsive. I have seen her miss the odd roundabout. But she is a good reliable friend. Till I reached a Queensferry intersection with Siri saying,
“in 10 meters, turn left.” Then me saying,
“What left?” Then, “No Way!!!”
And Siri performing a Route Recalculation.
She of course won the day and brought me back to the same point from the other side. Just to prove it was safe and she was right. Take a look in the pictures see what you think. I did not think it was a road. But as the pictures testify, cars pass through it - in both directions - at the same time.
Just not one with me driving!