Thursday, August 13, 2009

Everything English!

(Written Aug 10 and 12)

Despite the reaction I kept getting every time I mentioned I was going to Swindon, I had a fabulous time! (Perhaps because we spent most of the time out of Swindon?)

I arrived off the bus and promptly got lost for an hour in the pouring rain (I think I need to do a backpacker’s rant post sometime and so will go into more detail about that episode later..) Anyway, I finally made it to Sarah’s house and was welcomed with a hot shower. We made delicious dinner and relaxed all evening. The next day it was up and off to see the sights.

On our way to Stonehenge we visited the village of Averbury, which I actually found more interesting than Stonehenge. The village is surrounded by a huge circle of old stones. It’s older than Stonehenge and the circle is of course way bigger but the stones are smaller and less well preserved so that would be why it is much less well-known. No one knows why they decided to work for over a hundred years to build this and it’s so cool to be able to walk among the stones and wonder. Very pretty village too.

Then we continued on to Stonehenge which is indeed huge, impressive and mind-boggling as to how they possibly managed to build it, but you can’t get right up close as there’s a fence around it. So we didn’t bother to pay to get a tiny bit closer and just viewed it from the road, I think it is almost more impressive from a distance.

On the way back we stopped in Salisbury for a true English cream tea and visited the immense Salisbury cathedral which contains the oldest clock in the world and the best preserved of the four known copies of the Magna Carta. You can view it right up close but no pictures. That evening we popped over the local village pub (exactly as you’d imagine it) to visit her friends so I really got the entire English experience in one day!

I left the next day so it was only a really quick visit but a thoroughly enjoyed one! I spent the 8th on the bus to Chester via London (yes London is kind of out of the way but it was the cheapest route…) and then begins the chapter: Wales!

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