Overcast clouds mixed with the lush green countryside creating a gloomy yet mystical atmosphere. Here, buildings were non-existent. It was only humanity and nature standing together remembering history. I was at Stonehenge where towering bluestones and sarsens stood reflecting thousands years of history, mystery and ingenuity. 

As I walked around this ancient Neolithic site listening to my audio guide, I oohed and awed over the story behind Stonehenge. I have always wanted to go to Stonehenge and finally I was here. It was freezing, raining and cloudy, but I felt like the weather only added to the mystical feel of the historic site. 

Stonehenge was started in 3000 BC by people digging a circular bank and ditch for posts or stones. Originally, Stonehenge held 30 sarsen stones weighing about 25 tons each with seven bluestones capping them, according to the English Heritage website. The tallest stone weighs over 45 tons and stands at about 23.9 feet. There are many theories as to why Stonehenge was built. Some say it was used as a calendar while others say it was a place of religious rituals. Stonehenge has been an important research topic for over eight centuries.

Last year over a million people visited Stonehenge and today I became part of that number as I walked with hundreds of other visitors admiring the site. I was probably the last one out of my group to leave the stones because I was mesmerized by them despite the fact that I couldn't feel my fingers and I was shaking.

After a quick stop at the gift shop and a hot chocolate, I was back on the bus with my class ready to visit Glastonbury.

Today our class had a charter bus that drove us to each of our sites. The driver acted as our guide telling us fun facts about the area. On the road we learned about the history of highway robbers and how the hedges along the road measure all the way to the moon when added together. Our guide also related the area to our study of Arthurian Romance by telling us about King Arthur, the Celtic people and the landscape. 

Unfortunately, there was one thing I forgot to pack for this trip: Dramamine. I was so extremely car sick by the time we got to Glastonbury I could barely lift my head. The driving wasn't bad it was just that the roads curved in and out, in and out and I was really hot. I was basically falling out of the bus to get fresh air once we parked at Glastonbury. Luckily, Glastonbury had a Boots pharmacy so my roommate Kayla and I got some motion sickness medicine before we left. 

Glastonbury is known as the Island of the Apples or Avalon in Arthurian legends. Here we had an hour to eat lunch and visit Glastonbury Abbey, the alleged site of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere's grave. 

First the group split up for lunch. I went with four students to a pub and had a jacket potato, which is a baked potato. It was just what I needed to feel better from the bus ride. Then with only about 30 minutes left, three of us quickly toured Glastonbury Abbey. We barely had time to look through the museum, but we made sure we visited King Arthur's gravesite. The abbey ruins were spaced around the land and gave an idea of what it used to look like. Surprisingly, there were massive chunks of the abbey left. This is just another abbey that suffered from the wrath and greed of King Henry VIII.

Rushing back to the bus, we met up with our group. We were supposed to meet at 3 p.m. so the bus could drive us up to Glastonbury Tor; however, Dr. Guidry misunderstood our driver so in an hour and a half he ate, viewed the abbey and climbed the Tor. This was no small feat because the Tor is 512 feet up and at least a mile from the town. Once we were reunited with Dr. Guidry, the bus took us to the Tor. 

Walking up to the Glastonbury Tor was amazing. Words and photos cannot describe how beautiful the view was. At the top of the 512 ft hill we could see for miles as the green shades of the English countryside formed a patchwork of beauty. The wind was ridiculous on top of the Tor. My hair was going crazy! As usual we all took a ton of pictures before heading back down the hill. 

The Tor is the remnants of the first church in England known as Glastonbury Abbey, according to the National Trust website. It has been a place of spiritual pilgrimage for many years. The National Trust website said, "Some believe that Jesus visited his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea," here. Also legend has it that "Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail with him after the crucifixion. He hid it in the cavern underneath Glastonbury Tor, which caused two springs to form," according to the National Trust website. The Tor is also the site where the abbot of the abbey, Richard Whiting was hung because he refused to pledge allegiance to King Henry VIII, according to the National Trust website. (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wra-1356292763044/view-page/item454457/)

Since we were running a little behind schedule, we had to rush through our next site, Avebury. Avebury may be the largest pre-historic stone circle in Europe. It was actually hilarious because as soon as we got to Avebury about six of us ran to the stones. We had 15 minutes here and we wanted to see as much as possible. I think being in such a hurry actually made the trip more fun. We all ran up to the stones, took photos, touched them and then ran across the road to the other stone circle. Across the road there were sheep in the field with the stones so we were extremely excited. After stopping for a bathroom break we ran back to the bus with no time to spare. 

Thankfully, the two-hour ride home was much better due to the motion sickness medicine I took after lunch. I actually fell asleep only waking up when the guide pointed out a key landmark. 

As I looked over my pictures from today of Stonehenge, Glastonbury, the Glastonbury Tor and Avebury, I couldn't help but think, "Man, London rocks!"


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    I'm Kasi Dickerson. Journalism is my passion. I'm a big family person, love to travel and I laugh all the time.


    July 2013
    June 2013