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Edinburg and the Forth and Clyde Tow Path

On the warm and sunny Sunday, the 7th of July Aster and I landed in Edinburg. It was a real lazy Sunday with the parks full of families with children, picnicking on the grass, bagpipers in the background. Next day we went shopping and visiting the Old Town with the domineering Castle. Although very impressive the lady on the street who holds the Guinness Record of piercings (9500 according to her placard) will probably leave a more lasting impression on us.
Following our schedule we travelled to Glasgow where we stayed overnight. Not far from there our hike along the Forth and Clyde Tow Path commenced. In again glorious weather we took off for what was supposed to be the easiest path possible: ‘just follow the canal’.
It was thus to our utter surprise we ended up on a dead end of the canal, somewhere we weren’t supposed to be. Friendly Scotsmen (they all seem equally friendly and helpful) explained that the junction is hard to see and when we walked back –about an hour- it was clear why. We actually had to leave the canal, go down a small path between the bushes onto the street; there continue under a bridge and then ascend the stairs to find surprisingly the canal that was depicted straight on at the maps! Real life always looks different from theory! And indeed: the map is not the territory.
The problem was that it made our walk for today, which already was over 20 km a lot longer and we only arrived at half past seven at our destination, sweaty all over and quitter exhausted. How wonderful it is then to have a good shower and a nice dinner on the terrace.
No surprise we were both a bit damaged from overdoing it the first day. I had a painful knee and my granddaughter ‘hurt all over’. But the reservation for the hotel next night was made and this motivation we needed to set off again. Sometimes one starts in the morning with difficulty only to find out the walking goes better as one warms up. Other days it just doesn’t seem to work or at the contrary a great feeling of vitality and strength comes up. Overall it is quite unpredictable how the day will evolve and that is what we call adventure, isn’t it?
It is true the path took us along a beautiful canal with water lilies and meadowsweet but it was a bit monotonous as well. Nothing I would complain off but a 15 year old likes a bit more thrills, I guess. At Falkirk we had a taste of it at the famous wheel, a spectacular rotating boatlift.
And a good place to stretch ourselves in the grass and have a well-deserved rest after another 17 km hike.


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