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|From: "Kate McMullin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 22:42:13 +1100 (EST)
Did a lot today - be warned! We had decided to take a trip out to Stonehenge and Avebury today, but left it rather late to actually leave the house. Nisha, Tiff's flatmate, has a degree in Anthropology, and recommended that we see Avebury first, and see Stonehenge at sunset. By that stage in the day, we had to decide between those two recommendations, as we weren't going to have time to get to Avebury then Stonehenge by sunset (around 5:30 - 6pm at the moment). Got on the train to Salisbury, and made it there just in time to catch the _last_ bus (at 2pm) to Stonehenge. Got there and found that the last bus returned at 3:20, giving us exactly 40 minutes to tour and appreciate this amazing site. Needless to say, we missed sunset... Stonehenge is _much_ smaller than I had imagined - the stones themselves are huge, however the circles are tiny. The tour, with audioguide, takes you in a big loop, in a roped-off path, around the stones, so you don't ever get quite close enough. They are however amazing. Many of the stones are from Wales, and would have been dragged across the land by around (I think) 600 men each. That's a lot of workforce... The stones are joined together in amazing masonry techniques - basically a tongue and groove type thing. They are also lined up with mind blowing precision with the rising and setting of the mid-summer and mid-winter suns. Nisha had recommended that we stand to the left of the Heel Stone at sunset, and we would see the sun set through the arches of the main circle. Wish we could have seen it. Stonehenge is also at the intersection of two major roads, with somewhat spoils the effect, having heavy trucks trundle past every few minutes. Definitely need a car to appreciate Stonehenge properly, as the buses really weren't adequate. On the bus on the way back we passed a farm which had bales of hay piled into high walls. We called it Hayhenge... The hostel in Salisbury was (one of) the best we have stayed at in our entire trip. It was cheap, clean, homely and very welcoming (called Matt and Tiggy's), and I would recommend it strongly to anyone passing that way. It really restored our faith in hostels. Just small things like soap, shower gel and shampoo, in the bathrooms, fresh handtowels daily, and so much information readily available. Wish we'd been able to stay longer! We went to the cathedral for evensong. It so happened that there was a visiting choir from a local grammar school singing. They performed the Mendelssohn Ave Maria (done at Perth IV 97 for those of you to whom that means anything) with glorious precision and floatingly amazing top notes. It was heaven to listen to, especially in the fab acoustics of the cathedral. We've done pretty well with free concerts really (excepting Paris...). Very very yummy Indian takeaway from up the road from the hostel. Mango lassis so thick they almost needed chewing!
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