Stonehendge et al.

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Today we went to the vast and famous Stonehenge!  You may not be able to walk among the stones, but you can get awfully close to them. It was a long and early bus ride to the attraction on which almost everyone fell asleep. But then everyone seemed to wake up around the same time as we thought we might be getting close. There were a number of burial mounds scattered across the fields of sheep. We passed some construction that seemed painfully out of place, but we figure it’s for a museum so it’s not all bad. Then suddenly, with no warning at all, the bus turns the corner and BAM. Giant stones in a circle. What they failed to warn everyone properly about was the weather. Blustery would be putting it lightly. The weather said about 8 degrees Celsius, so not a bad 47ish degrees out. However, it did not mention the windchill. Stonehenge is placed upon a hill with absolutely nothing around it but sheep. By the end of the circuit, which takes about 15 minutes to walk, all of our hands and faces were numb! Sadly the weather had turned something I wanted to stay at forever into somewhere I’d seen enough of for one day. But our adventures were not over! Back on the bus and off to Salisbury we went!

SAM_0117 I opted to go on the optional tour of Salisbury Cathedral. The view was spectacular! The font just inside was the biggest I had ever seen. Made of black marble it took up the majority of the center aisle, which considering the size of these buildings was pretty impressive. Our tour guide was an amusing man and told us the story of William Longspee who was fighting in a war and was captured. No one knew what had happened to him for 6 months or so. This other guy’s nephew needed a wife. So he went to the missing man’s wife and said, “Hey, you’re pretty, and your hubby’s not coming back, marry my nephew.” To which she replied, “Naw mate, not in your life, I know my Billy’s coming home. Sod off.” And sure enough, William did return. To show no hard feelings were meant, William was invited to dinner by the other man, and found dead soon after of poisoning. Oh…England. On an interesting note, the same poison killed a rat that had found its way into his tomb some time later. Lastly, we got back on the bus and headed into Lacock.

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By this time it was dim enough my camera wasn’t particularly interested in working. It was twice as cold as Salisbury as well! But this village was the most charming. With about 350 inhabitants, it is a protected historical sight in England. New construction is more-or-less prohibited since William Longspee’s wife set up the Abbey. And what do you reackon about that building? Look kinda familiar? It’s probably because you’ve seen it in Harry Potter, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, or the 2010 Wolfman. All of those and more were filmed in this tiny protected historical town of Lacock. We had dinner nearby in a little place called The George Inn build back in 12something I think. Stuffed chicken wrapped in ham with gravy, broccoli, and potatoes, and a sticky toffee pudding for dessert with a pint of the local ale on the side. Today was a busy, yet fulfilling day. I know I promised culture shock, but this was far more interesting!

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