My parents were down visiting as my Mam and I were taking part in the race for life on Sunday and they generously offered to dog-sit Baker for the day.
We took the opportunity and headed off for South Shields and the Arbeia Roman Fort , history obviously being a big interest to us, the Roman period inparticular for me. It was a total goose chase trying to find the right bus and in the end we just hopped on the Metro which was another first for Jake, then a short walk to the museum, excavation and reconstruction site.
I love learning things and did as soon as we starting looking around. Did you know that the Romans were actually the first people to use inscribed headstones to mark a grave? They had loads on show too that had been discovered by the archaeologists at that actual site. As well as stone, pottery and metal artifacts there were human remains and skulls which really interested me to see. The grave with the full skeleton was the only reconstruction to show what a Roman grave looked like and what the deceased was buried with. Eg. This grave was of a female, identified because of the hair pins next to the head.
After getting my fill of information and photographing skulls, we headed out to pose and explore the reconstructed West Gate (the building with the Turrets) and excavated remains of the headquarter buildings, barracks, granaries, gateways and latrines. There were a few fun little 'interactive' things that I was all over of course as well as Jake being king of his 'castle'.
The white buildings at the back of the above photo are the reconstructed Commanding Officer's house and barrack block which were brilliant to explore. One room had been left unfinished so as to show how they would of been built, there were examples of rooms that the soldiers would of slept in which were rediculously cramped and basic in comparrison to that of the Commanding Officers quarters, elaborately decorated with a bed I'm jealous of even now. I was gutted that I'd been so unprepared and forgotten to charge my camera battery and this is where it gave up! Uhhh.
I did manage to catch a couple last snaps before closing time though. This one on the right seems just like a photo of a flower but I took it as it was a lone poppy right outside the army barracks - weird eh?
We'll definitely visit again as we didnt get to complete the adventure before closing time, plus it is FREE admission and very interesting.
As always I had to get a little souvenir from that shop (thanks Jakey) and then we walked back down to the seafront.
We didn't wanna head straight home at 4pm when we had someone to take care of Baker so had some reminiscent fun in the arcades where I beat Mr at pool and Pac Man air hockey. We got a little treat then mustered the last energy we could from our legs to head back to the Metro. Overall a lovely day with my man. Big thanks Mam and Dad for looking after your grand-dog! :)