The first time we saw the system of locks on the Caledonian Canal which is also known as Neptune's staircase, we were awestruck with the solution designed to carry boats upstream towards higher grounds.
There are multiple movable bridges built on the Canal which can open & close, creating small pockets or chambers big enough for a boat to fit in.
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When a boat approaches, the bridge or floodgate behind the boat is closed and as the water continues to flow into the chamber and is blocked by the closed gate, the water level starts rising, taking the boat along with it.
Once the level inside that chamber matches with the water level ahead of the boat, the boat is carried to the next chamber by pulling it with ropes, closing the gate behind it, once again, letting the chamber get filled with water.
There are 8 locks in total, and the complete process of passing through all of them takes approximately 90 minutes.
We sat at the picnic benches outside a cafe nearby, watching the boats pass by and wondering how genius the engineer must have been to design such kind of system in 1811! We also took a stroll by the canal all the way across the 8 locks. The surrounding area was so spellbinding that all we wanted to do was to sit there, sip our coffee and never leave.
Here is a video of the mechanism of the locks to give you a better visual illustration, hope you enjoy it.
Sailing through these locks would be a dream come true for me, but for that I will have to learn to sail first. So I guess I just added one more activity to my 'To do' list :)
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