Monday, May 29, 2006

Quick hit Stonehenge blog

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Tis a magic place where the moon doth rise
With a dragon's face
Stonehenge
Where the virgins lie
And the prayer of devils fill the midnight sky
And you my love, won't you take my hand
We'll go back in time to that mystic land

(With apologies to Spinal Tap, as well as our readers, for having to read their awful lyrics.)

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Walking among Stonehenge's rocks is mostly forbidden nowadays, because of the graffiti and because they fear the ground is too unstable to take the weight of 1 million visitors a year. But each day, a select group (in our case, 50) that pays extra is allowed to walk among the rocks after hours (and, some days, before hours).

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The best preserved section of the outer circle of stones, through which you can see the "heel stone." The heel stone marks the "Sacred Avenue" through which Stonehenge's visitors walked their processional

This was a special experience. Years ago, when I was 4 years old, my family and I traveled to England, and we visited Stonehenge. It's one of the only clear memories I have from that trip. I was disappointed some years back to learn that access to the stones was forbidden and that the most anybody could do was walk the perimeter. So when I learned of the opportunity to walk among the rocks (thanks to a reader--and you know who you are) I was jazzed to do it.

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Nobody knows who built Stonehenge, nor how they got the rocks, some of them weighing more than 50 tons, up to 200 miles to the now-desolate location on the Salisbury Plain before the invention of the wheel.
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They also don't know what purpose it served, other than as a calendar to mark the two solstices. As Paul, our droll Irish guide, put it, "It could have been a village hall or an ice-skating rink, for all we know."

18 Comments:

Anonymous ssmum said...

Very nice pictures ... thanks.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Moonbootica said...

Stonehenge is fairly near my home town of Devizes

Lovely photos.

Avebury is also worth checking out (which is even nearer to my hometown)

12:59 PM  
Blogger A Tabla Rasa said...

"On a lonely bluff overlooking the Columbia River and the town of Maryhill, Washington, is a full-size replica Stonehenge. An almost identical copy of the more famous English Stonehenge, it was built by Sam Hill, a road builder, as a memorial to those who died in World War I. Dedicated in 1918, the memorial wasn’t completed until 1930."

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/WA-Stonehenge.html

1:36 PM  
Blogger A Tabla Rasa said...

Oh, and very nice pictures, indeed!

1:38 PM  
Blogger Schmutz said...

I am attracted to Stonehenge because it is so mysterious. I even used family pictures taken at Stonehenge for Christmas cards one year. The day (years ago) we traveled to Stonehenge, we also visited Avebury which fascinated me. How can one not be impressed by a stone circle so big that a village grew up in the middle?

1:42 PM  
Blogger Middle Kid said...

These are great pictures! What I remember most from my visit to Stonehenge (when I was 7), was running through it, playing with my younger brother. I hope I can visit Stonehenge again, too.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Kitkat said...

Nice photos. I also live fairly close to Stonehenge, my sister lives within walking distance (across a couple of fields). We recently took an early morning walk there and to see Stonehenge in the early morning mist does make you gulp.
Mind you the roads around here at Summer Soltice, when the druids arrive, can be a nightmare!

9:14 AM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

Paul, our guide, said of the Druids, "The only way the Druids came to Stonehenge was as tourists."

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Kitkat said...

hmm..maybe Druids is just what they call themselves; perhaps the term should be 'traveller'. I do know there are a lot more beat up camper vans parked in the lay-bys on the A303 around that time and they don't seem to be Romanies.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

There were some of those out there on Saturday. Either they're semi-permanent residents, or they're getting the best campsites for June 21.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I'm so jealous! I just got to do the perimeter walk in 2002... and I had heard from OK of her times climbing in and around when she was little... guess I'll just have to go back!

11:22 PM  
Anonymous dc said...

Was there in 1967 and 1968 while serving in U.S. Army in Germany. It was a bit of a religious experience as most of my ancestry is from England and Scotland. Stumbled across something called the Nazi Bell Project while doing some research on Einstein, this stuff is pretty far out there anti gravity etc. However the support structure looks very much like stonehenge, has anyone else mentioned thiis? I would imagine someone would have a theory.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous PostcardBob said...

My question is, how many of you have a Stonehenge collectable, in your possession now today ?
bob@stonehengecollectables.com

10:35 PM  
Blogger sarsen56 said...

Readers may like to see this for the most up to date info:

http://www.solvingstonehenge.co.uk/second_page.html

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Michael Bott said...

Hello there. If you have more than a passing interest in standing stones, stone circles and other megalithic sites, may I recommend the DVD 'Standing with Stones'? It is billed as a "Journey through megalithic Britain & Ireland" and, as far as I know, is the only film available about the ancient megalithic sites beyond Stonehenge. There is more information at http://standingstones.tv

Cheers

Michael

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good story. Especially photos. Maybe not very good in quality, but I could never found on internet such amount of close Stonehenge pictures.

Did You know, that stone circles were built not only in Britain? For example in such exotic place (For circles of course) like in Poland

10:13 AM  
Blogger pfeds said...

Has anyone seen this site which is sort of a "themed" Google? There's a superb Stone Henge theme which I've been using for a while now, it's beautiful.

Check it out:

Stonehenge Google Theme on Gazoomy.com

4:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what Stonehenge is for:

http://www.eternalidol.com/?p=9655

All logical, he says it's referred to in Greek Mythology, makes sense and you can even make one it in your back yard. Enjoy.

2:15 PM  

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