Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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A minibreak in Caerleon

I only usually spend one day in Caerleon, but this time my husband is here not for a meeting but for a 3-day conference. I decided to come along as well in the hope that we could fit in a visit to the children and grandchildren, but I'm not attending the conference sessions.

Yesterday, we had a brief return of summer. After arriving at the campus, checking in and finding our rooms, we walked down into the town and I showed G the sights. You can do a nice little walk around, taking in the Roman Barracks, the amphitheatre and then down to the river and round back through the narrow streets of old houses to the hill leading up to the university campus.

Here is the amphitheatre. I think the little clump of people on the right are fellow mathematicians. The conference had arranged an evening walking tour, but we arrived too late to join them.

Roman amphitheatre, Caerleon

Today, G disappeared to the conference and after checking email and having a quick look online, I toddled down into town again to visit the Roman Museum. It is a tiny but very interesting collection. Though the basic exhibits stay the same, there are always one or two new things to find. This time it was a short video about the recent excavations that revealed the Roman remains to be far more extensive than previously thought. Caerleon means "City of the Legion" and was one of only three places in Roman Britain that had a full legion stationed there. (The other two were Chester and York.) Also there is a cabinet where the museum staff get to choose and explain their favourite items, which are often things that are not normally on display. The current item is a little metal object with a phallus on one end and a ficus on the other.

The museum also has a reconstruction of a Roman formal garden, featuring the plants that would have been grown in Roman Britain.


Roman garden, Caerleon

After buying a freshly baked sausage roll and a chocolate brownie from the excellent bakery that lurks down a back street, I returned to my room where I plan to crochet and read for a while. Not simultaneously, of course! I am not that clever.

PS. There was supposed to be wifi available, and it does work up near the main buildings, but the signal isn't reaching as far as the hall of residence where we're staying. I am therefore relying on the mobile broadband dongle, which therefore limits my inernet access somewhat. I may not be commenting as much as normal until I'm back home later this week.

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