Day 8 (Tues)
Lacock village, Bath - Aquae Sulis-Minerva, STONEHENGE
I reinjured my ankle again - probably just from all the walking. So... not auspicious beginnings. It was overcast & drizzly throughout the morning as I piled into a bus with 58 others & headed west out of London & into the *stunningly beautiful* English countryside. Rolling green meadows bordered by low stone fences & hedges, absolutely everything is green/blooming.
Lacock is an English Heritage village of less than 1000 - all the jobs are related to the heritage site (like Colonial Williamsburg probably). We were there for 30 minutes. I didn't walk through because of the ankle. Got some soup instead & was the last back on the bus. (Of course)
Bath - or Aquae Sulis-Minerva as the Romans called it - was amazing. The site was worshiped by the Celts etc. long before the Romans horned in on the action at the natural mineral hot springs (only one in England). Celtic goddess of healing Sulis was the original star of the show, the Romans added in their goddess of wisdom/healing Minerva & built a massive spa around the formerly open-air spring... and the rest is history. I found it really interesting, and the architecture of the city is just beautiful. I wouldn't mind staying a day or two there just to explore.
|Bath - park by the river|
Then the (decent) meal at the Stonehenge Inn (a selection of roasted meats, veg & apple-rhubarb crumble for pudding/dessert) that we had to eat a lot quicker than my stomach likes... and we were off again to...
Things to know: 1. It's a world heritage site. 2. You are not allowed to touch the stones, pick the grass or flowers, pickup dirt or rocks or pebbles... and there are security personnel around to make sure you stick to the rules. That said... it was AMAZING!!!
The stone circle is somewhat smaller than you might think, but the stones tower over you & are massive. There are ravens guarding the site, squawking and sometimes diving at people... as if to ward them off.
The air reeks of sheep dung (yep, hundreds of them grazing nearby).
There are +200 burial mounds/barrows in the immediate area.
|Cursus Barrows in the distance|
There is a pervasive feeling of something ancient, something powerful, something... present and aware... and beyond comprehension. Magic? Otherworldly? You decide.
I was stunned - overwhelmed - & grateful that I was able to fulfill this dream.
Tears may have been involved.
|Standing with the Standing Stones|