Monday, March 17, 2014

Bowling to Dalmuir

Entry for 15 March 2014:

We were supposed to be working on our US taxes today, but Diane’s about to leave for 3 weeks in California and Ohio, so we decided to squeeze in one more adventure before she leaves. 

We took the train to Bowling, at the end of the Forth-Clyde Canal.  We were the only people getting off the train at the little station. It was windy and damp this close to the Firth of Clyde; the station overlooks an abandoned harbor with containing a few picturesquely decayed hulks of old fishing boats.  We followed the signs for the Canal, and after about a third of a mile arrived at a set of harbors, locks, and British Waterways buildings. 

It was about 3 miles to Dalmuir.  Along the way we saw another part of Glasgow:  Wide canal (wider than in the West End), reeds and cattails growing along the edge.  Swans, bicycles, the occasional runner.  Wetlands on our right, between us and the Clyde, including the Saltings, a nature reserve.  We missed it, but in Kilpatrick, by the towering Erskine Bridge, about halfway between Bowling and Dalmuir, there is a section of the canal whose north side (the towpath is on the south side) follows the course of the Antonine Wall, as we have seen elsewhere, as Wall, Canal, and ancient and modern roads (or railroads) parallel each other across the Central Belt. 

In Dalmuir, the Canal makes a sharp left turn and goes under the modern Dumbarton Road, which required the installation of an unusual 3-meter Drop Lock, which enables canal boats to go under the road.  From there it’s just 2 blocks up to Dalmuir Station, major railroad node where the Yoker and Singer branches rejoin.

 It was a lovely afternoon, full of surprises, like the various pieces of public sculpture we saw along the way, and a reminder that even after 7.5 years in Glasgow, there is still much more to see.

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