Stonehenge: visiting a childhood fascination

One of my favorite book topics as a young adult was of unexplained phenomena. I would usually go to the library (oops, nerd confession!) to read about and ponder on UFOs, Easter Island, fairies, and the like. Stonehenge was one of these “mysterious” places that has kept me fascinated while staring at the book illustrations.

I never thought the day would come, but I finally had the chance to see it in person. I went to the UK to attend a conference, and to visit my relatives at the same time. On the morning of my arrival, my aunt and uncle picked me up from Heathrow Airport and brought me to their home in Southampton (about 2 hours from the airport). I got excited when they told me they planned to bring me to see Stonehenge that very day. Of course I had no complaints, never mind that I have been traveling for 27 hours before I arrived 🙂 I only had a week in the UK so that time should be spent wisely. So I just had breakfast and a shower at my aunt’s place and then my uncle drove us to Wiltshire, where Stonehenge is located.

Stonehenge seemed to be in the middle of nowhere (information on how to get to the monument can be found here). One moment we were driving along green grass fields with grazing sheep, and the next moment I can see the stone monument! I felt excited as i caught sight of the stone circle but since we were in the car, I lost my view of it shortly after we drove past. We drove to the parking area and paid 7.50 GBP at the entrance gate, where they provided complementary audio guides.We had to go through a sort-of tunnel to reach the location of the stone monument. When I emerged from the tunnel and saw the Stonehenge Monument, excitement filled me again. I even forgot that I was feeling cold from the strong wind. It was really true, the Stonehenge Monument was really in front of me. While I was approaching it, I was remembering all those things I read from the books. I was marveling at the fact that man can put together a monument like this. I was actually trying to figure out how they managed to bring the heavy bluestones to the site, place the stones in an upright position, and place the stone blocks on top of the upright stones, but I just couldn’t imagine how. It was really an impressive sight up close.

Well, actually it was not THAT close. We couldn’t really go near the stones and walk inside it. They put up ropes to prevent people from coming close to the stone circle. As we walked around it, our distance from the Stonehenge seems to increase. Of course, since we couldn’t go near it, we just took a lot of photos with me in it! Haha. It was a good thing I was with my aunt who was playing tour guide, as she happily snapped photos of me with the Stonehenge in the background.

I also noticed some tourists posing for pictures outside the fence. The 7.50 pounds for the entrance fee might be too much for  some, or they just refuse to enter since they couldn’t touch it or go near it anyway.

After circling around the Stonehenge monument, we went inside the visitor shop for some souvenirs. The shop has everything, from posters to chocolates and even sheep stuffed toys. I bought several postcards and some gifts for family and friends.

I felt really happy that I got to see “THE” Stonehenge. I was really thankful (especially to my relatives!) that I had the chance to visit a place that I thought I can only ponder about while reading in the library. What I thought were stupid childhood wishes can come true after all 🙂

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One response to “Stonehenge: visiting a childhood fascination

  1. Pingback: Conference and side trips: My hectic week in London | The (mis)adventures of a geologist lakwatsera

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