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2010 TRIP TO ENGLAND, by Colin L. Miller

Intro June 10 June 11 June 12 June 13 June 14 June 15 June 16 June 17 June 18 June 19 June 20 June 21 June 22 June 23 June 24 June 25 June 26 Expense Report

SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 2010: HADRIAN'S WALL TOUR

Despite a tense jaw and some headache discomfort, I got up at 7:30 am to get ready for today's activity. I had my daypack with the netbook, spare batteries for the digital cameras, some snacks, a small water bottle, and the compact umbrella. With McDonald's offering free Wi-Fi and being open this early in the morning, I ditched the remaining time I'd purchased last night for hotel Wi-Fi, and went over there for breakfast and Internet access. Around 8:40, I wandered the three blocks to the train station area and located the bus stop. The bus was already there, so I boarded and purchased an 8 Rover ticket from the driver. With the ticket I could get off at any stop and re-board on any forthcoming bus as many times as needed. At 9:00 we departed with a few other passengers. On this run, the driver narrated the tour as we progressed along the Hadrian's Wall route.

CHESTER'S ROMAN FORT

At 10:19, about 26 miles west from Newcastle, I got off at Chester's Roman Fort. The weather was cloudy, humid, cool and a nice breeze. Originally called Cilurnum, this was a cavalry fort that guarded a bridge crossing over the river Tyne. At the reception area, I paid the admission and got guidebooks: 11.78. There were only a few tourists here walking about the stone ruins. I first toured the museum building, which had numerous Roman artifacts, from milestones to altars and statue parts. There were also millstones, glassware fragments, coins, and tools. Then I walked out to the 1900-year old fort ruins. The fort was built to standard plan, with barracks, granary, commander's house, and a bath complex near the river. With time running out, I went back to the bus stop. At 11:51 I was back on the bus.


Scenes from Chesters Roman Fort

HOUSESTEADS ROMAN FORT

Twelve minutes later I got off at Housesteads. Admission, guidebook and postcards cost 13.75. Here, the ruins were at the top of a hill overlooking sheep pasture to the south and the Scottish lands to the north. Before touring the ruins, I went through the small visitor's center museum. There were many international tourists here. At 1:16 I was back on the AD122 bus. This one was the same as the one I'd started on.


Scenes from Housesteads Roman Fort

VINDOLANDA

A few minutes later I was off at Vindolanda. Admission, guide book and souvenirs cost 11.89. This Roman fort site had parts undergoing archaeological excavation, so future visitors will have even more to see. In addition to the fort ruins, there was a demo wooden and stone guard house, and down in a small forested valley with small stream, there was a reconstruction of a temple and a store. Then there was a museum with special artifacts showing the writing of a Roman woman.


Scenes from Roman Vindolanda

BIRDOSWALD ROMAN FORT

In the previous year, I'd heard about this place from a 1/30/2000 episode of the Channel 4 series "Time Team."

At 2:39 I was back on the bus. Next stop: Birdoswald at 3:32. Admission, guide book and souvenirs cost 20.38. The headache was still wearing me down, but I continued through the two-floor museum, then out onto the grounds. After walking the ruins, I returned to the main complex to rest at the outdoor picnic tables. I caught the 5:22 bus headed for Carlisle.


Scenes from Birdoswald Roman Fort

CARLISLE & RETURN TO NEWCASTLE

I finished my tour at 6:00, getting off near the Carlisle train station. At the ticket machine, I got a 12.90 ticket, CAR-NCL, departing at 7:45. With a little over 90 minutes until the train departed, I walked to Carlisle Cathedral. It closed over an hour ago, but I walked around before continuing on to Carlisle Castle, which was also closed, but still looked good from outside. I then returned to the train station. I arrived back at Newcastle at 9:09, and returned to my room to rest and get dinner. Total tour time: 12 hours, 9 minutes. Tour expenses: 78.70 ($120.41).

Tomorrow would be the visit to Peterborough and Flag Fen.


Intro June 10 June 11 June 12 June 13 June 14 June 15 June 16 June 17 June 18 June 19 June 20 June 21 June 22 June 23 June 24 June 25 June 26 Expense Report