20 September 2010

September 20

Hadrian’s Wall.  This epic, ancient site is truly amazing.  We woke up this morning extremely excited to drive across England to get to this incredibly significant part of British and Roman history.  In case you don’t know, Hadrian’s Wall is about 2000 years old.  It was built by the Roman British empire to separate and protect their land from the Barbarians, Woads, and Celtics to the north in Scotland.  To get there, you have to climb a pretty steep escarpment until you reach the top where the fort and the wall were built.  Once you are at the top, you have the most amazing view of the English countryside.  It’s unbelievable how much you can see.  We were so high above everything, as you will be able to tell from my pictures on facebook.  Actually, I’m going to go ahead and apologize for those.  To you, it may look like I took the same picture over and over again, but I just couldn’t get past how amazing everything looked from where we were.  Anyways, we got to tour the main fort that was built on the English side of the wall.  Then, we got to walk on part of the actual wall, which was my favorite part.  The wall was high up on either end, so that if you were to fall you would atleast 45 feet to the rocky bottom.  You could see for miles on top of the wall, and there wasn’t anything except maybe trees to block your view.  I’ve never seen a that type of land before…just land without any buildings or really any sign of modern civilization except for the random car that passes by on the highway a mile or two away.  It was fantastic to touch the wall and realize how many hundreds and thousands of people had stood where I was standing, whether they, too were visiting the wall or guarding it back in a more ancient time.  The history major in me about had a heart attack while I was there.
            After our excursion to the wall, we came back only to discover that our coach (also known as a bus in America) wouldn’t start.  The battery had died.  We ended up catching another bus back to town to eat, but it wasn’t the same without our driver Robbie.  It’s funny how attached we’ve gotten to him since he started driving us around a couple of days ago.  Anyways, we were at the restaurant for a rather ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out what we were going to do about transportation into Scotland.  We had a good time though.  Caroline, the Grad Assistant that came with us, told us riddles and then we baffled people playing Snaps from the movie “P.S. I Love You.”  Finally, we came across a very nice man who called just about every bus company he knew until he found a coach to take us to Scotland.  Just as we were about to load up his bus though, we got a call from Robbie saying that he had been able to start our bus again.
            Once we were reunited with him, we drove to Stirling, Scotland.  There we found our hotel, The Golden Lion which opened in the late 1700s, and found dinner at a local pub.  But, after dinner is when the party started.  We all piled into one of the hotel rooms and watched Braveheart, one of my all time favorite movies.  It actually might have moved up to my favorite movie now that I’ve watched it in Scotland.  It was so much fun.  A group of us have already decided that we want to stand on the Scottish Highlands somewhere and record ourselves yelling “FREEEDOOOOOMMMM!!!!” to the world after watching it.  I’m very pumped.  I have to say though, the best part of the night was when I got to skype Mommy, Rachel, and Hannah for the first time.  We had a lot of fun catching up!

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