I have always been fascinated by Stonehenge. To think that people that were living a simple life of farming 4,000 years ago set themselves to such an undertaking using hand tools and manpower is stunning. Huge rocks that were quarried, and hauled nearly 120 miles (some as far as 300!) and then set upright, after being shaped to form carpentry joints on the top (Mortise and Tenon joints). Why did they do it? We still ask these questions. We know there are burials on the site and nearby, but they can be dated to all points from prehistory to much more recently. We once associated them with the Celtic Druids, but have since found that the site was ancient by the time they made it into the area. Even the Romans, some of the greatest engineers the ancient world ever saw, were impressed by the monolith.
The site is highly protected and organized for tourism. You can no long walk among the stones, but the path that takes you around the stones does court them at one point by about 30 feet, perfect for pictures. There is a small fee to enter, but it includes an audio tour with quite a bit of information. There is a small gift shop, some food vendors and rest area on site too, across the road. The whole site is steeped with an aura of stepping back in time, even with the road near by, the hundreds of tourists snapping pictures, the paved pathway.
There was a breeze blowing by as I stood at the closest point to the main circles. I closed my eyes and drowned out the chatter of everyone around me. When I opened my eyes all I could see were the stones. This only lasted a moment, before the chatter returned to my ears, but it was an incredible feeling. For me, Stonehenge (Translated: Hanging Stones) has always been on my bucket list, and crossing that item off was a great feeling.
The other great thing about seeing Stonehenge is that it’s in Salisbury, which means that while you are waiting to catch the train back to London or Southampton, you can explore this old city, and see the Salisbury Cathedral! Built back in the 1200’s, it is still in use today, and house tombs, the tallest Cathedral spire in the UK (Over 400 feet!) and the best condition of the 4 remaining original Magna Carta documents. An incredible thing to think of, that one of the first documents declaring the rights of people and place of governments still exists in its original form today.
Please enjoy the images in the picture gallery of Stonehenge and the Cathedral, and stay tuned for more entries from my adventures! Please remember to take a moment to share this article on your facebook or twitter, and feel free to use the contact me page to ask me any questions you might have about my travels!