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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Feels like the Great Rift Valley


Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of many countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood whatever the weather. This post is from Nicola

Picnicing on one of Hadrian's Walls most dramatic escarpments near Sewingshields Crag, looking at the northern part of Northumberland far below us, the landscape’s dramatic change in level had me dreaming of Kenya and the bits of Africa that the Great Rift Valley weaves across. And this got Lola and Nell thinking about lions, safari and the politics and morals of the Lion King film – and got us singing Akuna Matata (Swahili for don’t worry, be happy) which helped revive our weary feet.

Even on a good summer day, as it was today, up on the tops it is always windy at Milecastle 35, so I am sure it was also a place where many Roman legions dreamt of home. No one has suggested Kenyans served in the Roman army in Britain, but their soldiers were from all over the world – not just France, Belgium and Germany but Iraq, Morocco, Libya and at least 1,000 cavalry men from Sudan. So maybe there is a little hint of Africa on this 2,000 year old border between the barbarians and the “civilised” Roman world.

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