Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stonehenge & Bath

Finally made it out to perhaps Britain's most famous monument, Stonehenge. It's a three and a half hour drive from Cambridge so we were out at 7:30 in the morning with a big bus to take 60 Gates Scholars out to see the Stonehenge monument.
I'd summarize Stonehenge as an ancient version of Mt. Rushmore. You know what to look like since you've seen it so many times, it's a bit surreal to see such a famous site in person, and then there's not much more to say about it after you snap a few photos. What disappointed me is that there's little historical info at the site, just a few words that "nobody knows what the stones were put up for." I feel like they should be encouraging kids to let their imaginations run wild. My guess? They put up the stones to encourage other stone age tribes to visit this lonely part of the English countryside, and trick still works today.
We spent the rest of the day in the comparatively modern city of Bath. It's one of the most architecturally interesting places in England, being very close to a stone quarry everything in town is built from magnificent stone.
 
And of course, the namesake Roman bath. Not very well preserved, but still quite impressive and interesting to see the complicated system to pump hot spring water in for the old Roman aristocracy to enjoy a hot bath in their colonial outpost.

 
 The rest of Bath is just a very nice city with beautiful buildings and a few very nice parks. I really liked the hills as well, being used to the very flat terrain of East Anglia.

If you squint, I'm somewhere in this picture. A little camouflaged and a little off the ground, but there I am enjoying the sites in the middle of the Royal Crescent, a magnificent semi-circle of houses with a few magnificent trees in the middle. I think the look on my face says "I need to remember to see more of England while I'm here."