The first day of our alumni trip to Vindolanda began, as everyone anticipated, with rain. It did not dampen spirits, however! Beth and I travelled to Newcastle with our driver, Bob. Bob is from Gateshead, on the edge of Newcastle, and this trip was his first time seeing the wall up close. And up close it was!
With Beth as tour guide, we first stopped at a farm shop, then took the back road to the B&B, following the line of the wall and learning about the contours of the landscape. It was a good introduction to the area, and it helped a great deal when we got on site to have a better feel for the natural features of the landscape. By mid-afternoon, we were on site, in the rain.
It was a bit damp.
Luckily, the excavation shed is equipped with tea. The students had been rained off, so they were active with indoor activities, specifically finds processing (pot and bone washing).
After an in-depth overview of Trench B, complete with explanations about anaerobic preservation, we returned to the people mover for a brief break back in the B&B. Our evening consists of a private guided tour of the incredible museum at Vindolanda, graciously provided by Patricia Birley, Director of the Vindolanda Trust, and Dr Andrew Birley, Director of Excavations.
Saturday looks to be sunny! Today we are visiting the Roman Army Museum, hiking some of the wall, and attending Friends night at Vindolanda.