England – Day 5

England – Day 5

Friday, September 28th. We are averaging well over 10K steps every day! I’m feeling very tired and sore. My cold sore is healing… albeit slowly. The weather was cool and breezy today, but we were comfortable in our down vests and layers – even with out our coats!

Our place here is homey, and backs up to a cow pasture. The cows are very friendly.

We saw STONEHENGE! It was amazing. The stones, sitting as they do alone out on the plain look like something out of a Hollywood or Disney set. I’ve seen so many pictures, that it looks familiar, but honestly, nothing can prepare you for how huge, and I don’t know… powerful it is to see them in person!

We got to the visitor center at about 9am, they don’t open til 9:30 so I got a picture of the empty ticket queue, which is something rare. We are members of the Historic Trust, so we got in free, and had free recorded guide devices. 

A bus with a display of “To the Stones” took us to the stones, about a 10 minute ride. We got out and there were two paths to travel, one, went directly to the closest part, the other took a more leisurely track all the way around. We took the longer path, and – apologies to Robert Frost – it did make all the difference!

We were there early enough so there weren’t that many people there, though there were a couple of bus loads. It was an amazing experience to walk around these stately looking giants. The architect that came up with the tourist handling is a genius. There are views where you don’t see another person. The path we took gradually got closer and closer, the stones changing with practically every step, until we were at the closest point. 

We took so many pictures! But then we walked back against the crowd and went by again, just looking with our eyes. It is a hugely powerful experience. 

We went through the museum which was understated but useful reference once you’ve seen the stones themselves. Just wrapping our heads around how unbelievably old they are, is a job! In the gift shop we succumbed to the urge to get a few souvenirs, then went to the cafe and had a wonderful meal of a steak pastie, some lovely tomato soup and a bottled “milkshake” made from clotted cream!! It was all hand made, not made offsite and trucked in, and it was delicious, and it was reasonably priced. England really knows how to do this right.

When we were done at Stonehenge, we moved on to the ruins of the castle at Old Sarum. That was amazing! (I know everything is amazing) But the rocks, and ancient cement, and the layouts of these massive buildings are really something to behold!

After Sarum, we drove to the Salisbury Cathedral. Stunning, absolutely stunning! It is huge! Over 700 years old, and built without the use of machinery, by human hands. In the cathedral is housed one of the few remaining original copies of the Magna Carta, and we got to see it! No photos allowed, but still, it was such a thrill to see a document, that old!

We got to hear the choir’s Evensong for a while, and then went to Salisbury’s oldest pub, The Haunch of Venison that has been in business for 700 years! Like all old pubs we’re visiting, its an old building, but the restaurant inside is very posh. But, again, priced very reasonably, with excellent food! I had fish and chips and it was like 11 pounds. A “large” glass of wine was 6. 

It was dark by the time we left, but still not so cold that we were uncomfortable. We were both out of battery and my external battery was out as well!

We came back to the apartment and got all of the electronics charged up, did some laundry, organized our stuff for when we check out tomorrow and went to bed. I’m still not sleeping very well, but at least it gives me time to update my journaling and the Google Timeline.

Tomorrow, we will visit a market that has been in continuous use for 700 years, then move on to Newlyn on the Cornwall coast!

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