Stonehenge & Bath Day Tour
Our day trip to Bath and Stonehenge started early Saturday morning as our bus drove us straight from Cambridge to Stonehenge. When we arrived 2.5 hours later, a rain and wind storm greeted us, and for the moment, it seemed it would never leave. But oddly enough, as soon as we started to walk to the site, the storm passed, and the sky opened up. You would have never known that there was a storm that had just came through. Nonetheless, the site was very impressive to finally see in person. The stone circle was built almost 5000 years ago and is one of the oldest monuments in the world. It was also cool to put the whole landscape of the site into perspective. It sits in the rolling hills where sheep and farmers are the only thing that populate the area. Based on recent discoveries, scientists have determined that these burial grounds go farther than the eye can see, as there are additional stones under the surface where human bones have been found. It is also incredible to see how they moved these massive rocks upwards of 100km from the coasts on wooden logs. Of course, there is also the theory the aliens did it.... Here are some pictures of the site that I liked the best:
And as oddly as the storm left, it returned right as we were heading off to Bath. But soon enough, the storm cleared up again, enough for the people on this bus to see the beautiful countryside. This countryside was different than any farming countryside I have ever seen before (with Italy being the only exception) because of all the rolling hills and agriculture that could be seen for miles and miles. Along the way to Bath, we saw the Uffington White Horse in the distance. The Uffington White Horse is one of 16 known white horse hill figure carvings in all of the UK, and it is by far the oldest, dating back to 1000 BC. Hill figures are seen by cutting out trenches in the earth to reveal the white chalk bedrock that lays below. In the case of the Uffington White Hose, it was carved by the Ancient Celtic people that lived in the area in 1000 BC. The people believed in pagan gods, one of which was Epona, the goddess of fertility. To wish for fertile crops, they carved the symbol of Epona (a white horse) into the hillside to overlook the area. When the Romans took over the area, they decided to keep the white horse hill figures because Epona is also a Roman god (the only god the two religions shared in common).
Soon enough, we were arriving in Bath, which sits in the bowl of the beautiful Avon River Valley. Bath is considered the most beautiful town in England, and it is famous for its wonderful Roman Baths; the only working Roman baths in existence worldwide. It is an an elegant city with fabulous Palladian architecture and a rich Georgian history. In town, we saw the Pulteney Bridge, which is one of 4 bridges in the world with shops across both sides. Two of the other three bridges, which I've actually seen, are the Ponte Vecchio and the Ponte di Rialto in Florence and Venice, Italy. The designer of the Pulteney Bridge actually got his idea for the bridge when he had visited the two bridges in Italy. In addition to the bridge, we saw the Bath Abbey, the homes of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, and the Royal Crescent homes. The Royal Crescent is a street of 30 terraced houses laid out in a sweeping crescent. Designed by the architect John Wood the Younger and built between 1767 and 1774, it is among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the United Kingdom and is a Grade 1 listed building. Although some changes have been made to the various interiors over the years, the Georgian stone façade remains much as it was when it was first built. Many notable people have lived or stayed in the Royal Crescent since it was first built over 230 years ago, and some are commemorated on special plaques attached to the relevant buildings. Oddly enough, actor Nicholas Cage lives in house number 7. He also owns a castle somewhere else in Bath. How he can afford it after making such crap movies latey beats me...
Sadly our day tour was over, and we began our journey home. As the sun set, sending vibrant colors into the sky, we saw the city of Bristol at the base of the hills, and even farther in the distance we saw the borders of Whales.
I loved this day tour of Stonehenge and Bath, and I recommend everyone to go on it.
Thanks for reading. Until next time!
Football Update: After beating the AUR Rhinos 52-0, and the Essex Blades 62-0, the following Sunday the Pythons had a very good opponent in the UEA Pirates; this game had playoff hopes riding on it. The pythons held strong and won 22-6. I had 2 fumble recoveries, a couple of big tackles/ blocks, and the Special Teams MVP. The following game I hurried back from Bordeaux to help the Pythons beat Canterbury 44-6, making the 6-1 Pythons record the best since the team was reformed. I had a safety and some other big tackles in the game. Next game is away against the BNU Buccaneers, and the playoffs start the week after that.
Coming Up: I just took a trip to Bordeaux, France, and that will be the next blog to come. In March, we have two trips planned, one weekend to Amsterdam, and the following weekend to Galway, Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Looking to go to Switzerland (Interlaken and Geneva) the weekend after Ireland. Stay tuned!