London Travel Blog› entry 16 of 34 › view all entries
Another miraculously gorgeous day. Blue skies, white, puffy clouds, warm weather. It was lovely!
So today we were supposed to go to Oxford and Stratford Upon Avon. However, when we boarded the bus they decided to switch and go to Stonehenge and Bath instead (we were going there in a couple of weeks). They said something about the weather and traffic... I'm not sure. I mean, I don't mind, it was the perfect day to explore Stonehenge and Bath. I just feel bad if anyone wanted to skip Oxford but wanted to go to Stonehenge. Now they don't have a chance.
So it took a little over an hour to get to Stonehenge. We had a tour guide who told stories most of the way there. I kind of wanted to sleep a bit, which made it difficult, but he did have some pretty interesting stories. We passed this tower-like building leaving London. It was pretty hideous; cinder-block, tall, stuck out from the rest of the buildings. Well the neighbors were absolutely furious at the architect. One of the neighbors was so upset that he decided to name the villian in his next book after the builder.
Moving on, Stonehenge rocked. LOL!!! It was pretty neat. I do have to say... like most world famous sites you go in with such high expectations. And oftentimes you come out feel underwhelmed. At first it just seemed so small, just a bunch of rocks. But if you think about how it was built it's incredibly impressive. Not underwhelming at all. Those rocks weighed tons and had to be transported a considerable distance. How did they do that???
And how were they able to position the rocks so precisely? The rocks act as a calendar and you can tell what month it is by the positioning of the sun on the rocks. For each month, the sun's rays move over one archway. That's amazing! And it's not just an accurate calendar, it's also geometrically accurate.
And more importantly... who did it? Some think it was Merlin, some say the devil, some say aliens. Personally, I have no idea. Absolutely none. It's one of earth's great unsolved mysteries.
What I'm more interested in is why it was build. Some think it's a sign of power. Some associate it with the burial site. Some say it was used as a calendar. It just seems so random... let's drag a bunch of massive rocks to the English countryside and form a circle of archways. WHY??? What is the purpose???
With none of my questions sufficiently answered we made our way to Bath, which was another hour or so away.
We did a tour of the Roman Bath. The audio tour was really in depth and, to be honest, got a little boring after a while. It was more fun to just walk around and try to imagine what the bathhouse looked like back when the Romans were using it. It's just amazing how long the pool and parts of the bathhouse survived. I doubt that even with our advanced technology most of the buildings that are built now won't last thousands of years. You gotta give props to the Romans. They know how to build shit.
So after the tour I just wandered around Bath, stopping into different shops and taking lots of photos.
So that was my day. It was nice to get some fresh air and take in the English countryside. It was also nice to get out of London. I'm really not sure how I feel about this city, it changes from day to day. Sometimes I love it... so many historical sites, free museums, gorgeous buildings, charming people.
I don't want to seem ungrateful for this opportunity, because I'm glad I decided to study here. London was on the list of places I would like to visit. And now I can cross it off. The city is nice and all, and there are plenty of things to do. It's just no Manhattan. Everytime I leave my comfort zone (basically the East Coast of the US) I learn to appreciate where I'm from more and more. Everday I spend here I realize more and more how great NYC/US is. Someone may have to buy me one of those I HEART AMERICA t-shirts for my birthday. Disgustingly embarrassing? Sure. But that's how I'm starting to feel here. Hopefully Bush will do something idiotic in the next day or so to snap me out of my American pride. It's only inevitable.