Day out: Vindolanda

30 Sep

Another fantastical place ticked off our UK bucket list — Hadrian’s Wall and Vindolanda!  We took a break during our drive down from our Scottish trip for an overnight in Carlisle and several hours exploring the wall.  I don’t have very many photos — isn’t that crazy? — I was so busy reading my guidebook, running around shouting “look, latrines!”, and marveling at ancient shoes, that my camera stayed in my bag.  (Mostly.)

IMG_3232ed There are many places to stop along the wall and see evidence of the wall.  We decided to stop at Vindolanda so we could see a good sized outpost and for the amazing museum.  My oldest child, we has been taking Latin in school, was amazed to discover that the people he had thought were merely characters in his text book were in fact real, living people — and evidence of their life was found here, at Vindolanda.  IMG_3233ed Entry through a courtyard with a sparkling fountain.IMG_3247ed The site is still  being excavated — an excellent field trip might be signing up to volunteer with an excavation crew!  Here you can see the pre-Hadrianic military bath house.  (You know I love a good Roman bath house.  Almost as much as a good ancient latrine.)IMG_3257ed Both the military buildings and the civilian structures have left evocative remains.IMG_3258edBasically lost our mind when we got to walk in the footsteps of the guards, even inside their headquarters building.

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From atop a recreated wall  sentry post, get a great view over Vindolanda.

IMG_3254edI often wonder how a soldier from Rome might have felt, sitting here in the frozen, nothernmost end of the empire (and seemingly the universe).  I tend to have a lot of sympathy for them.

20140419_154437ed The sit rambles on quite a bit.  And check out where you can sit and have a lovely sandwich or tea:

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Life is no longer rough and tumble, here at the frontier.IMG_3267ed

 

I’d love to have the time to walk the wall.  We saw many families out walking, as we drove along the length of the wall toward Carlisle.  We contented ourselves with rummaging through Vindolanda and then joining the Legion at the Roman Army Museum.  Absolutely fabulous day out with kids.

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