Housesteads Roman Fort - Hadrian's Wall
The day was bleak - drizzle and bursty tempests of wind that were so fierce we could lean against them. So while I knew I was not going to get what I wanted - I still find it almost impossible not to share the photos I did get anyway, because we were here and it's part of the journey.
I didn't do very much research before going here - my husband and I left at dawn from York and arrived early. It ended up being great because no one was there and we had the first roam alone. When we decided to leave awhile later the tour busses started showing up.
Just a small tidbit that delighted us - when you're traveling on the larger highways (A1 (M) in this case) the direction you're traveling is on every sign. So, as we were heading from Yorkshire to Northumberland, there were these large arrows and THE NORTH. I couldn't help think of Game of Thrones - Martin is a sneaky American. Most of us here in the States would have no clue that is nicked directly from England. It's just one of those things that don't make it over. But he borrowed so heavily from English history anyway I was not at all surprised :) (And yeah, it says THE SOUTH on your way back, haha)
So, Housesteads. There are 16 Roman Forts along Hadrian's Wall. There are also milecastles as well, smaller fortifications that could house about 16 soldiers, every Roman mile. There are about 80 of them. I mostly thought about how delighted I was in the Picts for scaring the crap out of the big bad Romans that they felt they needed to build a wall. I know it marked the "boundary" of the Empire as well - but all the same, gotta love those Broch building Picts. (That's a whole different post. I wish we knew more about them, but just like those Celts, they didn't have a writing culture either. So most of what we know is a pile of guessing, too.)
Anyway, I'm so familiar with Roman ruins at this point because I've watched so much Time Team. I'm not even that keen on the Romans. But I know loads of people love Roman Britain. It's just my least favorite time period of the Isle. That being said, it is extremely great to see something that has lasted two thousand years.