If there was one Scottish event I wasn't going to miss this year, it was the launch of The Kelpies. These two 30 metre, 300 tonne, stainless steel horse heads have captured my heart from the beginning.
I love that there is something mystical and ethereal about them as they shimmer in the light and give the impression that they could come to life at any moment.
The opening night saw a clear blue sky over Falkirk which slowly coloured to orange as the sun began to set. I stood in a snaking queue with excited anticipation at the much hyped fire, light and sound show which was about to take place.
While everyone stood waiting in the now chilly evening, we were entertained by poets, musicians and street performers, all setting the mood for the event ahead.
Slowly we made our way into Helix Park, an area that has been recently regenerated into a greenspace and area of biodiversity, also home to The Kelpies, one of the largest equine statues in the world, designed by Scottish sculptor,Andy Scott.
Named 'Home', the launch of these massive structures was also an occasion to mark the opening of the first John Muir Festival, celebrating the founding father of the global conservation movement.
The pathway through the park had been dotted with art installations including coloured water features, burning peat fires and a caravan with images projected on to it providing a feast for all the senses.
By the time people reached the bridge to the actual Kelpies, the galloping sound of horses and dramatic music from the show, designed by Groupe F, could be heard drifting over the canal along with the glow of pyrotechnic flames. Eventually we were allowed to cross the bridge and the full spectacle, lights, flames and Tron like figures, were revealed for the first time.
I spent the next 2 hours soaking up a truly memorable experience which was everything I'd hoped it would be. Photos will never do it justice but hopefully will give you a taste what a magical night it was.
The show ran on cycles of 15 minutes, each ending with applause from a suitably impressed audience. After walking the full circuit of the canal basin and taking a huge amount of photos it was time to head home after a night that really lived up to the hype.
To find out more about The Kelpies visit http://www.thekelpies.co.uk/
To find out more about Helix Park visit http://www.thehelix.co.uk/
To find out more about Scottish canals visit http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/
To find out more about sculptor Andy Scott visit http://www.scottsculptures.co.uk/
To find out more about the John Muir Festival visit http://www.johnmuirfestival.com/
Follow me as I search for the best and most original travel experiences in Scotland.