Stonehenge Monday June 3, 2013
Up with the sun, which peeps its bright head over the horizon at the ungodly hour of 4am! No sounds but the deep background hum of London. One thing I have noticed is the absence of birds, other than pigeons, doves and the ubiquitous crow. I got myself ready, excitement already beginning to brew... Sipping my tea, I realised that I'd put grapefruit juice in it instead of milk - I laughed. I'd put too many clothes on too - I knew I'd overheat, but just couldn't decide so I left everything as was and just tipped out the tea. I grabbed a banana and an apple - for which I'd be very grateful later on.
The phone rang. It was my cab out front. I left the house and got in my first ever London cab. The Indian driver said, "Euston station?" I said no, I'm going to the Thistle Hotel, Euston. Which began an entire conversation based around the fact that he didn't really know where I was going (despite it being on the booking) or even where the Thistle Euston was. Guess taxi drivers are the same all around the world... But we got there, on time and laughing the whole way.
Waiting for the tour bus, I met some other Aussies and some Americans, also eagerly awaiting their first view of the Stones from the inside. It was going to be an amazing day. I had wanted to see Stonehenge all my life and to get the opportunity to see it from inside the circle with only 25 other people was just perfect. I'd get the chance to do something only a few people would get to do and I wanted to make the most of it - I had 3 memory cards with me and two cameras as well as my mobile phone camera. I was going to cover it from all angles!
The tour bus arrived and it was new, modern and very comfortable. The driver was just a wonderful, funny bloke and the tour director informative and knowledgeable. We set off - not in the dawn light but in full morning light. I didn't care. The trip to Salisbury plain was full of landscapes that took my breath away. One of the things that was hard for me to take in was the depth of green I saw everywhere. It was verdant, lush. My eyes drank it in...
My first sight of Stonehenge took my breath away. I remember thinking - it's so tall! But smaller than I'd imagined in mind. Not that I cared. I was about to walk into history, ancient, breathing history and I was just hopping in my seat.
And then we were there. Waiting on the path. Walking towards the Stones with the others, I felt my heart rate go through the roof. Although we had been told not to touch anything, nothing could stop me from touching the energy that was radiating from this ancient monument. All the supposition and theories about this place rushed around my brain until I told them all to fuck off. I emptied my head of all thought and I just connected with the magic radiating from these ancient stones. As I wandered, taking pictures, taking it all in, I found myself spellbound in reverential bliss. For half an hour I walked the site, standing with my eyes closed under and next to them, tuning in with the energy that filled the space.
I found myself at a particular spot again and again. I felt it was the altar - the high place, so I sat myself down on the ground and did a card reading from my deck and filmed myself. I think the video speaks of the way I felt that day. It will be a recorded memory for all time for me.
It was hard to stay detached from the experience. I found myself crying off and on. Even now, while typing this recollection, I am tearing up, thinking and remembering the experience. It was simply and profoundly life changing.
Afer Stonehenge, the tour took us to Lacock and then to Bath. I was expecting it to be a bit of an anticlimax but it wasn't. Lacock was quintessentially your perfect olde English town - I loved it! Pity about the food at the pub, though. No gluten free goodies there - lucky for me I'd packed some fruit.
Bath was brilliant. I really got my architectural junkie fix in a big way! The baths were awesome and the churches, houses and other buildings simply stunning. I met another friend there - Mark. It was such a wonderful meeting.One of the things that has been happening with this trip is meeting up with people I've known online for years and finding that we connect in reality just as well as in cyber space. It was fabulous to spend an hour in Bath with my friend. Such an experience.
Then came the long drive back to London. By this time I was feckin' knackered. Hours of walking and little sleep caught up with me and I had a wee nap on the bus - not hard to do lol.
I staggered into Sameena and Mikes quite late and had a shower and a cup of tea - both so perfect I felt like a new person afterwards. Then came the massive job of transferring a few hundred (OK a thousand or so lol) photos from my camera to my laptop and doing a little editing. After that I sent emails and messages back home to connect with the kids. Viber is simply awesome. I can't recommend it highly enough as a phone app.
Sameena and Mike came home and we dined on fish and chips ( Australia you suck at fish lol) and then I crashed. Tuesday was my trip to Glastonbury with another friend and again, an early start. I was excited all over again...