Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Thoughts on Adventure - Installment 7



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 Abbey
Bath - gallery above the pool


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...


STONEHENGE
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.


The Circle








Standing with the Standing Stones










3 comments:

  1. Bath is a wonderful place. Bill and I spent a long weekend there and you can read about it on my blog if you wish. I kept feeling I was in a movie set, some of the places we visited. Stonehenge is not a place I've wished to visit, strangely. We drove past it on the little A-road where traffic slowed to a crawl as everyone had to look over at it - and so did I. I've always pictured it as swarming with tourists and your photos look strangely empty. If I thought it was a place I could commune with the atmosphere I'd probably be more interested. I can't see how this place could be other than awe inspiring if only to wonder how they managed to arrange the stones. Sorry to hear about your ankle. Hope it didn't ruin your trip.

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  2. I will definitely read up on Bath on your blog. I knew very little before this visit, and found it beautiful. Stonehenge probably has lots more visitors during the day, but I sprang for a "private tour" to be able to walk among the stones, as I knew I'd never be able to stay behind the barriers now in place. They allowed 25 people at a time into the circle, for about 30-45 minutes. For me, it was worth the cost.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I will definitely read up on Bath on your blog. I knew very little before this visit, and found it beautiful. Stonehenge probably has lots more visitors during the day, but I sprang for a "private tour" to be able to walk among the stones, as I knew I'd never be able to stay behind the barriers now in place. They allowed 25 people at a time into the circle, for about 30-45 minutes. For me, it was worth the cost.

    ReplyDelete