Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 9 of the Hadrian's wall walk

Yesterday was Day 9 of our Coast to Coast walk.

After an hour's ride on the Hadrian's Wall bus we arrived at Chester's Roman Fort. So far this is my favorite ruin museum. Like Housestead you could walk around in the ruins, but there seemed to be a lot more things to see at Chesters, and the signs were better.

I think we ended up spending two hours there.

Here's me in the baths.

And Jessamy

We had learned all about the baths when we visited Bath 5 years ago. It's still amazing though to see how inventive and sophisticated their way of life was. And to think the "western" world is just now starting to use under-floor heating (hypocaust) again.


This is the barracks. It was built in the built in the 2nd century AD (the rest of the fort was built around the time of the wall, AD 122). They are not the original barracks but that doesn't detract much from the impressiveness.

A stable along the road.

After the fort we went to Chesters Walled Garden. It was established in the 1990s, but I got the impression there was an old ruin of a garden here previously.

They had a small dye plants section. Unfortunately their signs were faded from the light, or gone entirely. So I don't really know what these plants are, but we did buy a guide, so now I have a list of dye plants that grow here.




Then it was off to the path.

We were already tired at this point, having not done any of our coast to coast walk for a month, so we decided to cut the walk a little short from 5 miles to what we think is 2.

Good thing too, because it started with this hill:

The walk was pleasant an uneventful until:

Yes, that is a cow right where we were supposed to enter the field, and you can just see to the right of the picture two other cows. As soon as I realized what our predicament was I started laughing in what closely resembled hysteria. The last walk's experience still fresh in my mind. I'm a city girl, and those cows are big. If people didn't have pain inducing tools cows would really have no cause to fear us. Fortunately Jessamy was braver than I was and she went over the ladder first. The cows of course backed away as soon as we walked across the ladder, as I "logically" knew they would.

Before we knew it, and about 45 minutes of walking, we had come to the next bus stop. We had a tough decision to make at this point. We could gamble on reaching the next bus stop, which was around 3 miles, we guessed, away, or somehow kill over two hours until we could catch the bus that would bring us home. Fortunately I realized that even though the next bus (and the only one that stops around there) wouldn't be going to Newcastle, it would be going to Hexham, where haven't actually visited yet.
Tower Tye

But before the bus came I was able to get a quick picture of the countryside.

Hexham was a cute town.
It's claim to fame is that it holds the first purpose-built prison in England, and it's abbey.
It was much bigger on the inside than I thought. I was particularly impressed by it's organ which we were fortunate to hear a little of.

Another highlight of the abbey was thirteen century stone stairs, which were worn and indented from centuries of use.

Shortly after looking at the abbey we caught the bus back home, slightly sunburnt but happy.

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