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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 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.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

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

What have the Romans ever done for us?

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 Pete

Being laid low with cellulitus (thankfully lessening with antibiotics) while the others walk Hadrian's Wall has given me the chance to take the bus to the magnificent Roman forts of Housesteads, Chesters and Vindolanda (so named because of the Romans' love for the native Brits' vindaloos). And I might have been better off with the Romans, having viewed the hospital at Housesteads. Firstly they wore sandals which encouraged air circulation and would have countered my athelete's foot. Plus they had proper hospitals with Greek surgeons, herb beds for alternative remedies and honey to stop infection seeping into wounds. It all sounds like Stoke Newington.

And who said Roman history was boring? Get this, they loved daubing great big willies wherever they went. There's a phallus carved into the Wall at Birdoswald (a comment on the Scots or a statement that a big man builds a big wall?), a pottery penis on display at the Vindolanda Museum and a willie carved into the floor of the headquarters at Chesters. Scholars tend to say these are fertility symbols or good luck charms; but having read the famous Vindolanda tablets where ordinary Romans request beer and the details of any good local inns, my conclusion is that they were simply early readers of Loaded.

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