Castle Black

I never realized the similarities between the Wall in Game of Thrones and Britain’s Hadrian’s Wall. Well, to be honest I barely knew anything about Hadrian’s Wall. If you didn’t read my post a few days back with a brief introduction you can read it here. This wall crossed from the west coast near the current border between England and Scotland, to the east coast near Newcastle. Along it were towers and forts garrisoned with troops to guard the wall from the Barbarians to the north. While there is no parallel to the Night’s Watch, the Roman guards weren’t allowed to marry and would often serve along the wall for quite some time.

The Roman fort was pretty cool. At its peak it held about 800 soldiers while the general area would also have many civilians. While the fort is now quite ruinous, you still get a strong sense of its original purpose, layout, and massive size. The Romans amaze me with their engineering prowess. The fort had a sewage system, and later incorporated a bath house. The view from the fort was also impressive. You could see miles north and south.

After the fort was a lot of driving. About 2.5 hours to Nottingham, where we stopped to eat at a pub. It took forever but my lamb meatballs and couscous were worth it. Nottingham seemed pretty cool on our brief drive through it. Although there was no sign of Robin Hood…

Then another 2 hours of driving to my hostel, although with a quick detour on the way to drive by Silverstone Raceway. We didn’t get to see much there but it was cool anyways.

My hostel, situated 25 minutes north of London by train is interesting. It’s fairly cheap, even once you include the wifi which isn’t free. It’s also quite nice. It is just outside Lee Valley Park, a massive park that stretches from London far out into the neighboring towns following the river Lee. I’m really close to London, so getting into town is easy, but the hostel has a very rural vibe. The rooms are in cabins and are quite spacious. It seems to largely bring in the under 18 and over 40 crowd so I stand out a bit. But at this point in my trip peace and quiet is nice.

To get to the wall you had to walk through a field of sheep

This tower was built hundreds of years after the Romans left

You can see the huge scale of the fort

The northwest corner tower with the wall stretching out past it

My hostel

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