Monday, April 24, 2017
I remember studying Hadrian's Wall back in college. The details have long been forgotten, but the feelings remain. I longed to see the wall. I was fascinated by the Romans creating such a barrier to keep people from flowing to the south.
As we drove all over the back roads, I became nervous. Would we be able to find it? Confusion assaulted me as I watched out of the car window as rock fences traveled every which way. Was that the wall or just a fence? It was pretty unclear. We stopped at a Roman fort where we thought the wall to be located. Nope, we still had ten miles to drive. The museum was closing, but the really nice lady who ran the visitor center gave us directions. Finally, we found a car park and the wall.
As I sit here thinking about the wall, I am not quite sure what to say. The countryside was vivid green. The wall with the moss and grass held a history starting over 1,895 years ago. The diameter of the wall was about five feet high, four feet wide, and originally 80 miles long. Of course, the height and width vary. A couple points of interest are that the wall is not a border between Scotland and England. Also, along some sections of the wall, huge trenches were dug in the dirt to help detour the northerners to cross into the Roman conquered land. Finally, a second wall runs parallel further north called Antonine Wall begun in 142. I would like to see that someday as well. Of course, I would also love to walk both walls.
I have to mention that seeing the wall transported me to the movies. My favorite is of Robin Hood, played by Kevin Costner, walking along a rock fence that looks a bit like the wall. Morgan Freeman's character asks where the cursed sun is in England as he wants to pray. As the time grows distant from when I traveled in England, I feel my memories are but a dream.