July 10th: Hadrian’s Wall

The last time I was here, we visited Wallsend, where Hadrian’s Wall stops short of the coast by about 60 miles. On this trip, we actually went up to the wall itself and hiked for three miles east from Steel Rigg to Housesteads fort. Along the way we passed some of the milecastles, small forts guarding the wall every Roman mile (about 143 yards shorter than the modern mile). It was brilliantly green everywhere. I kept pausing to take photographs, then jogging ahead, and then being left behind again as I took more. Afterward we went to Vindolanda and to a mithraeum, where Chris Witmore and some of the team rescued a sheep who had gotten stuck past a gated stile inside the mithraeum: portentious?

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