Europe 2010: Day 4 – Stonehenge & Roman Baths July 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Day 4: Bath – Stonehenge & Roman Baths

The day started with a breakfast at the hotel. There wasn’t nothing that was good to me. The sausage was bland and had a weird consistency that I didn’t care for. The scrambled eggs were also forgettable. Oddly Suzanne liked the breakfast, go figure…

stonehengeWe then headed into town and caught the morning tour to Stonehenge. The tour bus was a small with the driver also acted as the guide– a friendly gentleman who spewed out facts at each attractions we came across. He may be knowledgeable but the guy can use some humor. After about 15 minutes into the ride, he explained that the ancient Celts sometimes would produce these gigantic carving on the hillside near settlements as a way to declare their presence to the neighbors. They serve as warning signs for other tribes to stay away. The carvings were done by digging into the dirt until the white chalk layer is revealed. The carving we saw was called The White Horse. We were told that horses were common carvings and that they symbolized strength.

We reached Stonehenge after about an hour of driving.

I first read about Stonehenge when I was in the 5th grade. At the time, I was fascinated by UFOs and was reading all the books of the subject that the local library stocked in the children’s section. Seeing all the photographs over the years has me somehow imagined it to be a huge thing. Seeing it for the 1st time in my life, made me realized that it was quite smaller than what I had visualized. But it was still very impressive site. These rocks were massive and the human feats were simply unimaginable for ancient times. It’s also mysterious as you ponder on its purprose and use. As an impressionable kid, I bought into all the UFO’s theories out there, including aliens building the Stonehenge (and the pyramids as well).

I was surprised how accessible it was– being conveniently only a few hundreds feet from a major highway. I suspect that we’l be reading about one terrible accident on one foggy morning how dozens of cars rammed themselves into Stonehenge and knock down everything… gasp! 🙂

Suzanne & I circled the Stonehenge and came back to Bath after the 3 hour trip. Next stop was the Roman Baths. Built about 1800 years ago, the ruins were built by the conquering Romans around Bath’s hot springs. A temple was erected because the springs were considered holy and the water believed to have healing power. Bath houses with piping were erected around the area. The main attraction being a big retangle green pool surrounded by 2 stories of Roman columns and statues. Suzanne & I also liked the many items displayed. My favorite display is the reconstruction of the front of the temple– video projection fills in the missing pieces giving you an idea what the temple would look like. Having a museum built right on the excavation site is very cool.

Next we headed over to a spa for a dip in the spring water and a dinner of pheasants– a relaxing end to a busy day.

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