Saturday, 16 August 2008

Holiday trip 5 - Stonehenge and Avebury

Our next stop during our June holiday break was Stonehenge, which was actually a bit disappointing. Yes, it's amazing and yes, it's incredible, but if you've grown up watching all the documentaries and seeing loads of photo of the place it feels strangely unexciting being there. Maybe the lack of atmosphere is partly to be blamed by the fact that you cannot go close (security to prevent vandalism) and you walk around it with dozens and dozens of jostling talking photo-taking tourists. Plus Stonehenge has one of the tackiest souvenir shops I've ever been in. Shelf after shelf of nasty lurid plastic Stonehenge copies on everything from erasers and pencils to snow globes. Yucky! :-P

Here's some of the best photos we took of Stonehenge. I must say that the tourists were mostly a polite bunch and were willing to step out of the way to let others take clear photos.

It suddenly occur ed to me that we were standing in this amazing countryside photographing the stones and not the scenery. So I turned my back on Stonehenge and took this picture of what the stones "see". ;-) Isn't that an amazing view?

Pictures of me and Hubby. :-)

Avebury, on the other hand, has virtually no advertising, is still free to enter and being quieter you have time to absorb the atmosphere and enjoy the moment. We parked outside the Red lion pub (below) and walked around some of the stones that actually encircle the village. This pub is said to be the most haunted pub in England. This big stone below is called the "Devil's Seat" Young maidens would sit here on May Day Eve (Beltane) and make a wish.
Sheep also seem to enjoy being around the stones.

Looking back towards the Red Lion...
Hubby, mom and I walking back through the stones, so you can see how big they are.
The road leaving Avebury has a long "avenue of stones that stretches across farm fields. Just a few weeks after we were here an enormous crop circle appeared in the fields behind Avebury. I feel so miffed that we missed that! :-(


Amel said...

WOW!!! I feel the same as you do about the pics. The other pics (not Stonehenge) are more interesting he he he...

LOVE the pic of you with hubby! And LOVE that Red Lion pub!!! :-)))

Blur Ting said...

I'm glad you said that about the Stonehenge. I had that same feeling standing before the stones when i was there in 2000 with my mum. It felt like an over-rated attraction especially since it was bitterly cold on that day. You were right to turn the other way and admire the scenery. I should have done that!!

Connie said...

I really enjoyed this post. I loved the picture of the sheep next to the stones! :D

Michelle said...

You too? I think some places get too much commercial hype and it kind of kills them.

I've never had any dealings with sheep before moving to the UK, but here in Scotland they're everywhere (literally at times!) and I have since found them to be quite comical and cute. Spring with all the lambs playing gets me going "awwww" every spring!

Genie said...

The stones have a helluva view!

You couldn't have asked for a more beautiful sky to serve as a backdrop on that visit, lovely!

Glad to know what it's really like at the Henge. Now I won't spend my life pining away for not getting to go there.