Things that make you feel small: A wall that stretches the entire width of Great Britain

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On our recent sojourn to Newcastle from Glasgow, we decided to visit a portion of Hadrian’s Wall, an ancient structure built during the time of the Roman Empire by emperor Hadrian. For a stone wall (of which there are MANY of in Great Britain) it certainly left a surprisingly large impression.

The wall seemed like a great spot to stretch the legs after a couple of hours in the car, so we ended up stopping at a portion by Waltown Country Park somewhat randomly. After walking up the hill to the ruins and seeing how loooong the wall is, and seeing loads of backpackers on their way for (presumably) many days of hiking and camping along the wall trail, we felt like we stumbled onto something pretty inspiring.

To give you an idea of what I mean, this thing is/was:

  1. 73 miles long, stretching from coast-to-coast across Great Britain
  2. 10 feet wide and 12 feet tall (although portions were modified according to the terrain)
  3. Nearly two THOUSAND years old, having been started in AD 122 and mostly finished in only 6 years
Hadrians Wall map.svg
Hadrian’s Wall and ANOTHER wall we haven’t visited yet above that. More walls in our future!

I don’t know why I was struck by this old pile of rocks as much as I was. Why are people drawn to these things? Maybe it is because things that are really old or really immense (or both) have a way of making you feel small and insignificant, and in turn, your worries and problems are also insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Experiencing history is both a means to escape as well as a way to gain a new perspective.

Thanks, Hadrian, for following through on your divine calling from the gods.

We thought your wall was pretty sweet.

Comments welcome!

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