After my day in Bath, I hopped on a tour bus to see the Stone Henge. It was a small group, and our tour guide was really good. He told us a bunch of little facts along the way, such as:
- One of the original explorers of Australia (I’m so bad with names…) is buried in a small cemetery just outside of Bath and not in Bath Abbey because his death was maybe a suicide. Just the possibility of it being suicide prevented his body from being buried in the Abbey despite his great accomplishments as an explorer.
- The UK has more UFO sightings reported than anywhere else in the world, and in conjunction, more corp circles.
- Warminster is the name of a town where military action takes place. One time, a drunk soldier decided to take a tank for a spin in a nearby town, he didn’t kill anyone, but he did destroy a few cars and a wall. To prevent this from happening again, the city posted a “no tanks” traffic sign.
- Back in the day, in order to discourage excessive consumption of alcohol, towns would have “blind houses.” If someone was being particularly intoxicated, the local authorities would be called, the person would be taken to one of these houses and locked inside. The house had no windows, so when the person would wake up, they wouldn’t be able to see anything, thinking they’d gone blind, and with a terrible hangover, and thus would be discouraged from drinking ever again.
Anyway, in this particular part of England, the soil is chalk based. People have made huge pieces of art in hillsides by digging a meter down to the chalk part of the soil. I saw this one, but no one else in the van noticed it, because the guide assumed it was to hazy to see it.
Finally we made it to the Stone Henge. Everyone who I told I was going to see it said something along the lines of “Jolly good, you should definitely pad on over to the spiffy view, though, it turned my cup of tea sour.” Which in normal English translates to: “Cool, you should go, but I was disappointed.” I don’t know what they were talking about though. It was “bloody awesome,” the stones are about twice my size (so about twelve feet) and the history was pretty interesting.
The thing about stone henge is that no one knows why it exists, no one can think why in 3000BC, hundreds of people would attempt to drag several stones, all weighing a few tons, to this location and then position them upright. Some stones came from a location 18 miles away, and others (the blue stones) came from 160 miles away. The theory is that these were transported using a raft and a nearby river, but attempts to recreate this feat have resulted in the stones sinking. Over the coarse of hundreds of years, the stones have been repositioned and changed. The stones do seem to align with the sun on the summer and winter solstice, the area has been used as a burial ground, some think it belonged to the celtic religion. A brief synopsis of two myths associated with Stone Henge:
- The devil took them from some Irish lady’s garden.
- Merlin (yes the magician from King Arthur’s court) brought them over from Ireland. They originated in Africa and went to Ireland by way of giants and had the stones had healing abilities.
I wish they had a book of the myths and possible Celtic origins, but they didn’t at the gift shop. We spent an hour there, which is longer than necessary, but it was a beautiful day and the stones are in the middle of the countryside with beautiful green hills to stare at. As well as a very busy highway.