Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Trip to Scotland and northern England June 2014

Trip to Scotland and northern England June 2014

Old Aug 9th, 2014, 12:12 PM
  #81  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 8,005
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Annhig, I must be doing a too literal translation from the Italian, pranzo al sacco, although I thought "sack" could mean a paper bag also in English. If not, that's another "false friend", a cognate that doesn't mean what it appears to mean, and another sign that I'm forgetting my English.

I don't exactly mean commercialization as much as an attempt to instruct by razzle-dazzle. The 3D film at the Roman Army Museum is a good example. It certainly had some gems of information, but I would have preferred it without the 3D specs, the loud soundtrack, and the hokey personal story.

The Colosseum is surrounded by blatant commercialization; I saw nothing like that along Hadrian's Wall, where the surroundings of all the sites I saw (not just the ones we stopped at) were totally free of tawdry commercialization. But the information presented at the Colosseum is mostly very straight-forward; except for some signs directed to children, the rest of it assumes you're an intelligent adult who knows how to read. However maybe that's no longer a valid assumption?
bvlenci is online now  
Old Aug 9th, 2014, 12:22 PM
  #82  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,962
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
IME the Vindolanda Trust operated sites have more of that sort of 'pizzazzy' thing

Though it has been a few years since I visited Housesteads and things may have changed (I did stop there 2 years ago but didn't go in the visitors center). But I did stop at Chesters just this May and it is quite low key and not much changed than other times I've visited over the years.
janisj is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2014, 12:26 PM
  #83  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 8,005
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Actually Vindolandia itself was not very razzle-dazzle.
bvlenci is online now  
Old Aug 9th, 2014, 12:47 PM
  #84  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,962
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Oh -- I know that -- except for the reconstructed wooden fort (I assume it is still there - right? Its been a few years) none of the sites are all that 'jazzy' -- but from what I remember, the properties run by the trust have more of that sort of thing - like the 3D video.

IME, the English Heritage sites are very 'straight down the middle'.
janisj is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2014, 12:55 PM
  #85  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
I must be doing a too literal translation from the Italian, pranzo al sacco, although I thought "sack" could mean a paper bag also in English. If not, that's another "false friend", a cognate that doesn't mean what it appears to mean, and another sign that I'm forgetting my English.>>

lol, bvl, that never occurred to me [which it should have done really, after n years of learning italian] I thought that "sack" was a typo for "snack"!

the phrase you were looking for is a "packed lunch"; a sack can be made of plastic, paper, hessian etc but would be much bigger than you would usually need for lunch, unless you're feeding a roman legion.

you would generally put your packed lunch in a paper or plastic bag or even a tupperware container, or a "lunch box". [which has another meaning too but you won't be wanting one of those on a picnic!]
annhig is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2014, 03:16 PM
  #86  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,976
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In the U.S., we do use the term "sack lunch" to mean the same as your packed lunch, I suppose because it is carried in a sack which is usually a paper bag.

I am just loving your report, bvlenci.
carolyn is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2014, 03:23 PM
  #87  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
we're back with those two countries divided by a single language again, aren't we, carolyn?

though the american use of the word "sack" for a [paper] bag shouldn't be that much of a surprise because the french do the same.
annhig is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2014, 03:26 PM
  #88  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,420
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
I am just catching up with your report. We had a similar experience looking for the Falkirk wheel, drove all over Falkirk, it seemed. We also had only the name of the street and my Tom Tom. Ended up asking directions at a gas station and it turned out we were just around the corner.

We stayed at the Lake of Monteith Hotel and I rate our dinner there as the second best of the trip.

And my mantra for the trip was "too far left". When sitting in the passenger seat it really felt like we were going into the ditch. I know the drivers felt they were too close to the center line. Roads are narrower than we are used to and speeds are higher.
Nikki is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2014, 03:29 PM
  #89  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,420
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
The use of the term sack lunch must be regional, not sure what part of the US. I would call it a bag lunch. I think of a sack as something bigger, like a burlap sack for potatoes.
Nikki is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2014, 04:08 PM
  #90  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,619
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I take a bag lunch to work, though I assumed/took sack lunch to mean about the same (and assuming can be very dangerous, if one is completely wrong and doesn't know it!).

I hope annhig can explain "hessian"? <i>a sack can be made of plastic, paper, hessian etc</i>

Loving the report, bvlenci. Thx!
scotlib is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2014, 01:36 AM
  #91  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Scotlib - hessian is what sacks were originally made of, a sort of very rough woven material made of jute; there's a good picture here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Budget-Hessi.../dp/B0089V5DXG

sacks made of it can be used for all sorts of things for example animal feed, or even the animals themselves - we have been known to put the odd chicken in one if we want to take it somewhere.
annhig is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2014, 04:51 AM
  #92  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 8,005
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Then there's a poke, which most English speakers only use for carrying pigs, but which in Pennsylvania is used to mean bags large and small. It's related to "pocket", which is a small poke.

In some parts of Pennsylvania, people carry their lunch in a toot.
bvlenci is online now  
Old Aug 11th, 2014, 06:15 AM
  #93  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,624
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can verify that there is no sign at the road for Kilchurn. We lucked out and I noticed a couple of cars parked in a clearing as we passed by. Decided to turn around and investigate (I was very interested in seeing it). At the back of the clearing, we say a sign about a foot off the ground that said TO THE CASTLE, nothing else.

I'm in SE PA and have never heard poke or toot. MY DH was from Kansas and used "sack", which seemed to confuse people around here.

~Liz

~Liz
elberko is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2014, 07:55 AM
  #94  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,420
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
Hessian is evidently British English for burlap.
Nikki is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2014, 11:24 AM
  #95  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,860
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Of course, one could also take a box lunch . . .
LCBoniti is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2014, 11:40 AM
  #96  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 8,005
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SE Pennsylvania is very cosmopolitan, almost all of the dialects have disappeared there. Poke was common in rural central Pennsylvania in my childhood. Toot was much more restricted. It may be Pennsylvania Dutch in origin; the people I knew who used it were in Berks County.
bvlenci is online now  
Old Aug 11th, 2014, 12:58 PM
  #97  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 8,005
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Day 11

I had big plans for this day, the last full day of our trip, a Sunday. I wanted to go to St. Paul's Church in Jarrow, which was the church of the Venerable Bede's monastery, and then to the Bede's World site, which is right next to the church. As I said before, I'm a big admirer of the Venerable Bede, ever since I took a course in Anglo Saxon language and literature. He was a simple monk, in the 7th century, who never even became abbot of his monastery. And yet, he was a theologian, an historian, a linguist, a poet, a musician, and, most amazing, a scientist centuries ahead of his time. A real Renaissance man, 600 years before the Renaissance. He's considered a Doctor of the Church by Catholics. Seven centuries before Christopher Columbus, he knew that the world was a sphere, and gave practical demonstrations to prove it. He determined that tides were caused by the moon, long before Galileo was born, and made accurate tide tables for the sea near Jarrow.

Bede's writings were copied in monasteries all over Europe, and he was a great influence in Charlemagne's empire. And some people think the Anglo-Saxons were just rude barbarians!

I hoped to go to the Sunday service at St. Paul's Church. We took the train to Newcastle, then the metro to Jarrow, and then a bus that let us off right in front of the church. My husband had said he didn't want to do as much walking as we had the day before, so I assured him that there would be very little this day. I used Traveline Northeast to plan the transportation. This and Traveline Scotland are very useful, especially if you've just missed a bus and want to find a Plan B.

Our train to Newcastle arrived about ten minutes late, and we just missed a metro. When we got to Jarrow, we found our bus and asked the driver if it went to Church Bank, the name of the stop. He really didn't know, even when I mentioned St. Paul's Church and Bede's World, which surprised me. However, he asked me if it was in Jarrow, and when I affirmed that, he said it was probably on his route, so we bought our tickets and took off. I thought to ask one of the other passengers if she knew the Church Bank stop, or St. Paul's Church. She did, and told me we were taking the bus in the wrong direction. Fortunately, we had gone only one stop, but we had to walk back to the bus terminal. When we got on the right bus, the driver told us his co-worker had called him to tell him we shouldn't have to pay, which was nice of him. I thought it odd that this driver also didn't know the stop, but another passenger told us to get off right after Bede's World. By this time, we were running late, but we got to the church just as the first hymn was ending.

After the service, we were invited to have coffee and cookies, and I asked if I could have a look at the Anglo-Saxon chapel just off the main part of the church, which was part of the monastery where Bede spent most of his life. The church offers tours starting at 2 PM on Sundays, and I had originally thought of coming back for the tour, but one of the church members offered to give us a private tour right then. The chapel is small, but very well preserved, and I was in awe at being in the very place where Bede had chanted the service of the monastic hours.

The coat of arms of Pope Francis bears a quotation in Latin from the Venerable Bede: “Miserando atque eligendo”, which means, “having mercy, choosing him”, or less literally, “having mercy, he chose him”.

Outside the church, you can see many remains of the 11th century monastery built on the ruins of the monastery of Bede's time.

We walked through a park across the street from the church to Bede's World. First we had lunch in the café. We both ordered quiche, which was fairly dreadful, with a thick damp crust and mediocre cheese. I don't remember what else we had.

The Bede's World site was a disappointment. The museum, like the Roman Army Museum we had seen the day before, seemed to be geared to children, although I doubt that anything there would have interested them very much. There was a place where kids could dress up like a monk. The children I know probably never heard of monks, and wouldn't be much interested in dressing up like one if you explained it. Not as much as, for instance, dressing up like a pirate.

There were little alcoves where you could stand to hear some quotations (in English) of Bede's writings on history, science, etc. It's a very gimmicky concept, and a lot of effort to hear someone read a few sentences from Bede's considerable opus.

On a big sign outside, there was an advertisement advising that you could see Bede's Great Bible “from the Laurentian Museum in Florence”. It turned out to be some scanned pages from that manuscript, which were bound together in a volume. Since it's on normal paper, the descriptive sign explains that it's not near as thick as the original would have been. It's displayed open to two scanned pages. Maybe I missed some fine print on the billboard outside, but this is not what I would call a full-scale replica. I've read several newspaper articles that also seem to have copied the press release without asking any questions. The museum is taking up a collection to be able to buy a real full-scale replica.

There is also a farm on the grounds of Bede's World that purports to represent a farm in Anglo-Saxon times. It looks like something that was born with great hopes but that hasn't been able to keep itself going. There were fields with signs telling what sort of animal was inside and how it was related to Anglo-Saxon breeds (very distantly, for that matter). Most of these fields were empty. There were two black oxen, which, according to a sign were of a breed that's existed in England for a long time, and that they were much smaller than modern oxen. They really looked about the same size as modern oxen to me. A similar sign identified a big black pig as being smaller than modern pigs, but looked no different from any pig I've ever seen, and I've seen a few in my day. There was one long-haired wooly pig, which was a novelty for me, and which really was on the small size. There were also some ducks, and two donkeys with no pretense to ancient lineages.

There were some farm buildings, not very well described, with thatch, that seemed to be vaguely Anglo-Saxon, if it weren't for the chicken wire that clearly showed beneath the very sparse, and badly decayed, thatch. Most of the fields were overgrown and I didn't see any crops planted. There were broken fences, repaired with modern fencing. It was all very depressing. When we walked back through the park outside, we saw numerous families enjoying a Sunday afternoon there. The Bede's World site is inexpensive, and if it were better managed, it could attract a lot of those families. As it was, we were practically the only people there. I saw one group with a child. In my opinion, it had no interest for a child, and was far too childish for an adult. I once visited the Lejre Experimental Center in Denmark with my kids, and had expected Bede's World to be smaller, but on the same order as that very interesting recreation of life at various periods of prehistoric time. The Lejre site has animals that have been painstakingly back bred to be genetically similar to prehistoric domestic animals in Europe, and when you see them, you know they're not something you'd see in a modern barnyard.

I highly recommend a visit to St. Paul's Church in Jarrow, but I can't wholeheartedly recommend Bede's World.

Our return trip was without incident. When we got back, we ate again at Alishaan, near the train station, and once again had a good meal and great service.
bvlenci is online now  
Old Aug 11th, 2014, 01:09 PM
  #98  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 8,005
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was sure I had already posted day 11, but it wasn't there when I refreshed the screen. Either I accidentally posted it on a different topic or I refreshed the screen before hitting "Submit".
bvlenci is online now  
Old Aug 11th, 2014, 02:46 PM
  #99  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Of course, one could also take a box lunch >>

completely different from a "lunch box" !

bvl - shame that Bede's world is such a let down - given that he was such a fascinating character they ought to be able to make his World rather more interesting than that.
annhig is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2014, 04:43 PM
  #100  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,619
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for the link, annhig, and the "translation" to burlap, Nikki.

I do remember cloth bags when buying feed for animals as a child, though I'd didn't remember "burlap" until Nikki wrote it.

Cloth bags were already on the way out when I was a child and the more common bags were a weave made of plastic and then those disappeared, too, to change to just heavy paper, which is what is used today for any bags we buy with animal feed, ex, to feed the chickens.

bvlenci, I can think of one group of youngsters who may know "monk" from a show last year The Doctor spent some time in a monk's habit .. starts at 2:23 .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tff9vT0bL4

Thx for the great trip report!
scotlib is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -