Saved: April 21st 2013October 7th 2007
You met a bad end, my friend. From avebury.
Well, time to start my travel blog for my stay in the UK. Bear with me as I slowly figure out the odds and ends in this webpage and in my travel prose.
Turns out that our foreign studies coordinator organized a trip for us yanks (haha) to go visit two really neat cultural sites, avebury and stonehenge. The ride out was nothing too eventful, basically slept the whole way, and woke up in time to just barely view the "largest pre-medieval mound in europe" basically a giant mount that took years of back breaking work to construct back in 4000 (!!) BC. I unfortunately didn't get any pictures of this spectacle due to my location on the wrong side of the bus.
We then moved quickly into avebury, which is quite a nice british hamlet of sorts. Except it borders a massive ring of stones in a circle that is similar in age to stone henge. The stones themselves create a massive circle with a circumference over a mile long. (I believe). Anyways, a lot of the stones were actually destroyed by the catholic church because they viewed the stone circle, with its accompanying ditch, to be a
pagan site. Apparently they were quite confounded when the stones presented themselves to be the 4th hardest natural rock known to man and were not so conducive to being broken down. The result? Giant bonfires were lit at the base of the rocks, and burned for days. Then, water was thrown on the rocks, causing them to break apart. This is also the rumoured origin of the "rock" in "rock and roll"... derived from the rock festivals of yesteryear (yester-millenia) in avebury.
I was oddly chafed by traveling with a large group of americans, one or two is fine, but a giant mob that pays more attention to sheep than a 4,000 year old rock structure just grates me the wrong way. "awww look at it, isn't it lovely" Okay here, this is a creature that may or may not be aware its butt is covered in its own feces. It stands there and chews grass and occasionally makes a bleating noise. But it's white. Or something. So let's all cause the tour to take an agonizingly long time by straggling behind and insisting your friends take a picture of you with the sheep and/or chase said sheep like
So I am on the inside of this ditch, who can tell me what is wrong then, and why it wasn't a defensive fortifcation in its original form?
As soon as the group was allowed liberty I jetted away from the large group with a random friend for the cathredal I had spied earlier. A small town church, and a wonderful one at that. Some of its windows were the original panes put in place by its saxon builders back in about 1,000 AD. It was very well kept and had many fresh flowers and was quite accessible. It gave my new canon a worktest with its ban on flash photography, but I came away quite pleased with some of the photos. Graves seemed to date from about 1200 on up and many of the panes I'm sure were from way way back. The whole courtyard with the enclosed church was a perfect throwback to um, the start of the last millennia, although a sign on the outside stuck out as being not in vogue. I wanted to stay and talk to the church keepers as they seemed friendly, but it was on to the rest of the group tour.
Well, then we motored out to stongehenge, and I stayed awake to check out the countryside. Amazingly, every town seems to boast its own
The smaller ones are placeholders for where stones used to be
gothic cathredal, and many of them appeared much larger (but less accessible) than the one I had just visited.
Stonehenge itself is an amazing place. Except for the american that resembled angela's neighbor on "my so called life". I'm sure your proud to be an american and everything pal, but in all honesty, carrying around an american football like it is your child is not necessary. Yeah, these brits just worship the ground your on because your carrying it, and you have an amazing ability to prance around like peyton manning and throw "passes" where you don't actually throw the ball. In front of stone henge. Incessantly. And then you stick the ball out and lock your elbow, pause to look at your perceived large muscle, the football, and then stonehenge in the background and then nod to yourself like you've just climbed a mountain. Taking a football and placing it in your direct field of vision with any kind of monument is retarded. And sadly enough, I think he will do it just about everywhere he goes. The Eiffel tower with football. Masterpiece. The mona lisa with football. Breathtaking.
But stonehenge was neat, and many of the
Me and Stonehenge
I would like to put all rumors about stone henge's origins, with all the martian foofaw and whatnot to end. I built it. While it appears I am looking at a camera lense, I am actually gazing towards my next creation, the Great Pyramids. Yup, locked on.
tourists there were actually quite nice. I conveniently fell behind the gaggle of americans who were probably lamenting the lack of sheep within the stones and sorta cruised around. They give you a handy dandy headset with which one can hear the history of stonehenge and all sorts of fun facts. FYI its association with druids is blown way out of proportion and it was an painstakingly constructed device that was an amazingly refined quasi-calendar. I think it would be funny if the original builders could see the mass pilgrammage of individuals that visits their stones every day. Would they be proud?
I then came back to the visitor center and bought my mom a notebook/journal present. And a postcard. Then talked to a local guy with a girlfriend from the chzech (s?) republic for awhile. Told me to go to london, which I will be doing here before long!
There are more photos below