Sunday, May 17, 2009

london 17 may 2009

This is our last day in England and we are going out with a bang. We've been all over the place today. Our day started out at Windsor Castle.

The castle dates back to William the Conqueror and is one of the official residences of Queen Elizabeth.

From there we toured the Roman Baths at Bath. There is archaeological evidence that shows that main spring of the baths was treated by the Celts as a shrine to the god Sulis. The Romans associated Sulis with Minerva (Athena in Greek mythology). They named the town Aquae Sulis. ( Sulis... Sewell... do you think there's a connection? ... Nah.)

Finishing this trifecta of sites was Stonehenge.

There has been a lot written about Stonehenge. Some think it was some kind of shine, others a monument, or a burial ground. The blue stones are thought to have healing powers. Really, Stonehenge is probably one of the most recognizable sites in the world and one of the most mysterious.

Stonehenge is found in the English countryside about 85 miles west of London. It's actually a pleasant 2 hour drive. Here you are, driving along and all of sudden... bam... there it is. It sits on a grassy mound just off a major highway and has a chain link fence around it. Our visit to Stonehenge was certainly no pilgrimage (more curiosity than anything) but somehow I thought it'd be a treated with a little more reverence. The big thing in the requisite gift shop were tee shirts and magnets that say "Stonehenge Rocks". Sorta cute, I suppose, but still a detraction from any greatness Stonehenge holds.

All in all, it's been a good day filled with centuries of history. Coming from America, it's very hard for me to fathom that I could be walking on and touching anything so old. I guess I really am a product of the New World!

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