Monday, January 16, 2017

A Story About a Wall

I've mentioned before that I went to college in Scotland.  Because it's kind of far, my family did not visit until I graduated, and they stayed for two weeks (well, most of them) to travel about and kind of cram in as much of Scotland as they could.  I had two weeks between the end of exams and their arrival, so had done some last travelling about of my own prior to their arrival. So I had seen some castles, museums, and large churches (among other things) in the preceding weeks.  (I know, you feel sad that I had already seen so many things.)  
I had given my mom a list of things I had not yet seen in Scotland, which she mostly discarded, because it did not match the itinerary she already had.  I met up with my family in Edinburgh, we saw the castle and other sites. We took a side trip to another castle/museum. Then went to St. Andrews, where I took them around and then graduated.  (Woot!) Also, hat tip to the lovely waitress in the bar at our hotel that warned me that we had to kneel as part of the graduation (to be hooded) and that a lot of women tripped because their long skirt and/or gown slipped over the back of their heel and so when they stood they were all tangled up.  
Anyway, then we went to Mull, then to Glasgow, and somewhere in here I started to object.  I wanted more days with a little more space and little less scheduling.  (This is somewhat hilarious, because I am often the one who insists there must be a plan, I just find it easier to be more free with a starting plan.)  But the schedule called for all five of us to pile into a car and go see the Antonine Wall.  You have likely only heard of Hadrian's Wall. The Antonine Wall was built after Hadrian's and farther north. We got a bit lost and in the way of family vacations had hit that point where confined car time together had us all a little done each other.  Oh, and I think we were hungry.  But we had to hit the wall before lunch to adhere to the schedule.  
So, we found the place, which honestly looked more like a large British estate.  We didn't really see any sign about the wall.  We wandered around the back of the estate and found a sign, but no real evidence of a wall, just grass.  As we read the sign, we understood why.  The section of wall we arrived at had not been excavated.  So, there was a drawing on the sign of what they expected the wall to look like when it was fully excavated.  (I no longer remember which of the sites we visited, but it looked a little like this.)
We laughed.  Quite a bit. My mother said, well, now you'll never forget the Antonine Wall.  And you know what, she's right.