Sunday, 17 August 2014

Hexham and beyond

Day 3, and we bade farewell to Durham (where we had stayed the last two nights) and travelled the 45 minutes to Hexham - close to Hadrian's Wall and home to a wonderful abbey, where we had arranged to play before, during and after their main Sunday morning service.

We enjoyed a very warm welcome from the fabulous people of Hexham, who seemed to appreciate our playing immensely (and were very generous in their giving towards our charity, Aspire). At the end of the service we also played on the ancient gallery steps (see above) and in the 7th century crypt (below) - this was quite a squeeze!

After a spot of lunch we found the path of Hadrian's Wall itself, and gave ourselves a brisk 8.5 mile walk between Chester's Roman fort and the Brocolitia fort to the west. 

It has to be said, it was easy to forget how difficult it could be walking with a cello uphill into a strong wind - and how easy it is doing the opposite! The cello acts as a sail somewhat, which can be used to our advantage at times, but is certainly a hindrance at others. 

We played a couple of times along the way - even though on one occasion the only audience was some local cattle...

Now we've moved onto a new base in Carlisle where we will stay until Wednesday - but we'll be exploring far and wide. Tomorrow we play at Lanercost Priory at 10.30am, and will then cover some sections of the wall to the east of there for the rest of the day. First, however, we're about to go for our fourth curry in as many days - yes, this has become part of the challenge and we'll let you know which our favourite was at the end!

Highlight of the day: Playing in the 7th century crypt at Hexham Abbey. 

Quote of the day: "You're mad!" - the first thing that was said to us by a woman sitting on a stile somewhere... (compare and contrast with yesterday's QOTD!)

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