Warp Factor: 9
Today was a grey, cloudy, day, with a little mist and drizzle but thankfully not much real rain. We turned south from the Firth of Forth coastline and met up with the Union Canal at the historic Burgh town of Linlithgow. This was a few miles longer than my originally planned route, which would have taken us through the commuter city of Bo'ness and met up with the canal farther to the west after a half dozen miles of road walking. Considering it was only Michael and Jan's second day with us, the shorter route might have made more sense. But I am really glad we picked the more scenic and interesting route, because Linlithgow was such an important place for me to visit!
Linlithgow is a really pretty town on the shore of a small loch. There were half a dozen boats filled with anglers mulling around the water, so there must be fish in the water. The shoreline is dominated by Linlithgow palace, home of Scottish royalty from the 15th century till the union of the crowns, in 1603. James V and Mary Queen of Scots were born there. It's very historic, and a beautiful place.
There's plaques throughout town marking other interesting Linlithgow historical things. In 1919, somebody installed the first petrol pump in Scotland at this corner. In 1813, in what's now the Four Marys pub, David Waldie was born. The people here claim he came up with the idea for using chloroform to anesthetize, but then he blabbed to James Young Simpson, who stole the idea as his own. And there's more of that kind of thing here. But that's not what drew me to this place. It's what Dawn told me this morning. The most interesting historical plaque we've seen on this trip. It's the reason I wanted to come to Linlithgow.
Can you read it? I'll give you a clue: "I never wanted to be anything else but an engineer." Here, I'll zoom in.
That's right, Linlithgow is the birthplace of Scotty! Mister Scott, take us to John O'Groats, warp factor nine! "Are ya daft, lad? Ah canna do it! Ya canna break the laws of physics!".
Finding Scotty's birthplace was obviously the highlight of the day. But it was still morning, and we had many miles still to go. We found our way to the quiet Union Canal towpath, and made our way west. We had lunch in a great little sandwich shop. Jan ordered tuna and cheese, but got haggis and cheese instead. At the time, she reported that it wasn't terrible, but the effects got worse as the day went on. Michael and Dawn both had Irn Bru, some kind of bright orange Scottish soda pop that looks like its radioactive.
It was a great place for lunch.
Here's the Scottish women that run the place. The accents here are fantastic. They've gotten thicker since Edinburgh, but have not reached the unintelligible level.
A few more miles brought us to the uninspiring edges of Fallkirk. From the canal our first views across town looked like endless suburbs, a bedroom community on the motorway within commuting distance to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Tomorrow we walk 16 more miles on the canal, getting us to within a few miles of the West Highland Way. The weather is looking a little better than today, let's hope it works out that way.
and Scotty ... Beam me up!
Location:Glenfuir Rd,Falkirk,United Kingdom