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Published: September 30th 2017
Geo: 51.3814, -2.35745
Today was such a lovely day! We had a tour scheduled to visit Stonehenge, Bath, and some other “secret places” which ended-up being much more than we had imagined and this day was one of my all-time favorite vacation days ever. There is no way I can write about everything we saw or did but here's a rundown….
We took a taxi to our meeting point for the day and as our taxi paused for a stoplight… my breath was taken away at the sight of Westminster Abby! Yay! I had no idea the
top of the Abby is gold. It was regal and everything I always thought it would be.
We also saw the British military in their camo clothes and tall, black, furry hats. We met our tour group at the London Eye. As we were waiting for our mini-Coach-van-thing, I realized I left the room without my coat or gloves! It was too late to return to our hotel at that point and luckily I had worn two tops, a vest, and a warm scarf so I made it through the day fine. It was probably high 40s today? Maybe 50. I don't know. I was fine after
buying gloves at Stonehenge.
So…..we met 14 strangers and our wild-haired, super interesting, Welsh tour guide and bus driver for the day, made some brief introductions, and headed out of London to Stonehenge. We were able to see a lot of the beautiful English countryside today – including the quaint English village of Lacock! So adorable! As we were leaving London our driver discussed the village of Chelsea in London (a townhome is around 40 million pounds here which is around 48 million US Dollars with today's exchange rate), he showed us how the very wealthy live next door to socialized (government) housing and this is the way it is all over London and is the main reason there is very little crime in London. We saw Big Ben, Parliament, the London Bridge, the river Thames, etc on our way out of town.
Our first (official) stop was at Woodhenge – which is free to visit, had only 2 other vehicles in the teeny parking area, it is hardly ever talked about, and is a tiny replica or plan showing what Stonehenge would look like if all the stones were still there and in their proper placement. It has been
verified that it was built at or around the same time of Stonehenge. WHY we don't know about this is beyond me. It's about 2.5 miles from the main Stonehenge site.
Just to talk about Stonehenge briefly….
Stonehenge is a group of rocks in a field that a very smart man turned into a money-making sensation however, there is more to them than you would think. They are incredibly
heavy, they are made from a specific blue stone that is approximately 140 miles away from this site, it was made over 5,000 years ago, and to this day, it is unknown…. WHO put them there….. HOW they got there…..and WHY they were put there. And…get this…there are over 800 “Stonehenges” throughout UK! Noone tells you that, do they?? We visited Aveburyhenge later in the day where the stones are much larger than Stonehenge plus we were able to walk up to them, touch them, etc. Aveburyhenge has a ditch all the way around it that is approximately 15 feet deep (it was originally 27 feet deep). All the “henges”
are shrouded in mystery. Anyway, Stonehenge was apparently the most important
site of all the “henges” as the rocks were carved with little knots so
they could be pushed together and stand the test of time (sorta locked together) and they were sanded and carved to look a specific way plus they have discovered a giant burial ground under Stonehenge where they know at least 68 people – including women and children – are buried. After they dug-up the first 68 apparently they stopped because they now have some sort of radar that shows Stonehenge is sitting on top of a massive burial site…..and so we walked all over those graves today, took pictures, heard lots of theories as to how and why this existed, developed our own theories, and wondered why those people years ago didn't try to invent electricity instead of moving all these rocks around for whatever reason. By the way, the rocks align with the Winter Solstice (could be something to do with the sun), the bodies excavated are from all over the worlds (their skulls and diets verify they did not live in this region but came to Stonehenge for a reason), and frankly…. It could've just been aliens. What is Stonehenge? We don't know and we didn't learn the answer today.
We then drove to the small village of
Bath. Bath is beautiful. We visited the Royal Crescent – a residential area for the elite of the world – the top 1% in the world own homes here. One street over we saw the famous Circus - a circle of homes where the starting price is around 9 or 10 million pounds (or 11.2 million US Dollars). We went to a pub and tried a flight of their famous ciders. Oh they were so good!! We had 3 “small” glasses (not so small in the UK) and I loved the sweet cider that tasted like cold apple cider but was 7.2% alcohol! They also had pear and apple cider that tasted like champagne and apples to me….Give. Me. More! It was 6.5% alcohol. The third was called Hex and it was 5% alcohol, terribly bitter, I did not like it and Kamie loved it. We drank all three glasses in 6 minutes flat as that is all the time we had before we were to meet our tour guide to see the baths. Needless to say, we were “looking up” at the architecture of the baths a few minutes later and I could of swore the buildings were moving.
Ha Ha Ha The deal with the “baths” in Bath is the water comes down from the mountains, travels through underground tunnels, and is about 100 degrees when it comes out - perfect for bathing and swimming. The water is clean, clear, and full of minerals (lots of iron). Years ago legends were the water healed you, the water helped women become pregnant,
yadda yadda yadda. Today, they are popular with the elite and the baths themselves are rather commercialized. We did tour the original bath where the Roman steps still exist. The original bath was closed in 1978 after a girl died of meningitis – probably due to the water sitting in a pool, turning green, with hundreds of people bathing in it for years. The baths that exist today have chlorination and the water is kept moving so no diseases develop. We were able to visit the original Bath site and hear the stories. I felt as though Spartacus himself may have bathed there…at least I was dreaming of him after that cider flight…
Overall, we had a magical day today…and not just because we stopped at a pub on our way home and we all got pints of cider
to take back on our bus (true story – there are no open container laws in the UK). We heard some fascinating tales today, learned a lot of history, visited one of the most beautiful towns I've ever visited, and generally loved our day today. We came back to our hotel room talking about all the things we saw and learned and barely realized we had been out for over 12 hours. Good Day!
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