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Day Five: Stonehenge-Lacock-Bath

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Dave!Believe it or not, I've never been to Stonehenge. It certainly seems like something I'd be dying to see... but, for reasons that escape me, I just can't get excited about a bunch of rocks, no matter how fantastic their arrangement and mysteries. Besides, I've been to the Stonehenge in my home-state of Washington and it's in much better condition. But, alas, it's one of those things that people kind of expect a traveler to have visited, so I went ahead and arranged a tour booking. Since I hate f#@%ing tour groups with the burning passion of a thousand suns, this was a kind of big deal for me... but away I went.

An interesting aside here... when you get to Stonehenge, you can't wander through the stones and go wherever you want. Instead you are confined to a roped-off area that keeps you at a fair distance from the attraction. Unless you book an "Inner Circle Tour" from a licensed agency. In that case, you get to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn and be bussed out to the site with 25 other people. These tours are very hard to get unless you book way in advance, but I got lucky on a cancelation when I had to change my trip to Edinburgh...

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

And yes, you can touch the stones. Here is what I expected to happen...

Glowing Rays on Stonehenge!

And here is what actually happened...

My hand on Stonehenge.

Meh.

Feels like a big rock.

Far more exciting was the tour stops in the towns of Lacock and Bath. Especially, Bath, which was wonderful. I've put some pretty nifty photos in an extended entry if you're interested...

The tiny town of Lacock (pronounced lay-cock) is quite famous for having changed very little over the years. This makes it a big draw for movie studios, as they just have to remove a few signs and slap some dirt on the roads to get an instant Olde English village. Harry Potter has shot here twice, along with a bunch of other period films. The reason our tour group stopped here was for breakfast at The George Pub...

The George Pub at Lacock

The pub is fairly famous because it has a "dog wheel." Back in the good old days before gas stoves, people cooked their food in their fireplace on a spit. Problem was that if you had a big piece of meat, you'd have to turn it for hours in order to have it cook evenly and not burn. Since nobody wants to sit at a fireplace for that long, somebody came up with the idea of having a dog do it. The problem with that is that dogs aren't very motivated to do your cooking for you... unless you put hot coals behind them. Then they have to keep walking or else the coals will burn their legs. Personally, I'd like to shove some hot coals up the fucker's ass who dreamed up this kind of animal torture, but whatever. That's the wheel to the left there...

The George Dog Wheel and Fireplace

The town itself is quite nice. They have their own abbey, but it was closed until after we left. Instead, I wandered around looking at doors and stuff...

Lacock Door

Lacock Door

Lacock War Monument

And then we went to Bath which, as one might expect, is famous for a bath. A Roman Bath over England's only hot spring, to be more accurate...

Bath Roman Baths

Bath Roman Statue

Bath Disc Carving

The spring is supposed to have miraculous healing properties, so I decided to try a glass of Bath Water...

Bath Water Glass

It tastes like warm metalized toxic waste. Not exactly gag-inducing, but not pleasant to drink at all.

Bath is famous for many things, but a biggie is that Jane Austin lived here and wrote books about Bath high society that made her famous. This is kind of lost on me because I couldn't give two shits about Jane Austin, but her museum is supposed to be nice. I bypassed that so I could wander the streets and marvel at the beautiful honey-colored stone that all the buildings are made from...

Bath Stone Houses

Bath Circus Tree

And then there's Bath Abbey, which is absolutely amazing. I've seen a lot of cathedrals and churches over the years, but this was truly something special...

Bath Abbey

Inside Bath Abbey

Inside Bath Abbey

American Flag in Bath Abbey

No, I don't get it either.

My favorite part of the abbey was all the cool burial tombs lining the walls. Some of them have sculptures that are mind-blowingly beautiful...

Bath Abbey Statue

Bath Abbey Statue

Bath Abbey Statue

Bath Abbey Statue

And that was the end of the tour.

Bath Abbey Statue

We then boarded the bus back to London where a torrential flood of rain was pouring onto the city. Quite a change from the previous four days. Oh well... I need to pack my suitcase anyway.


Categories: Travel 2009Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Nat says:

    Skip Stonehenge. Do cathedral in Bath. Got it.

    (I think Peter Gabriel has a Bath connection.)

  2. Dave2 says:

    Actually, he lives in the nearby city of Box. However, when he’s singing about Solsbury Hill, the city lights he can see from atop do belong to Bath! :-)

  3. John says:

    Hahahahaha. (touching the rock : ) Did it appear to be in any danger of being crushed by dwarfs?

    I’d like to see it someday.

  4. Mik says:

    I liked Bath a lot when I went there, I think there is a little bottle of cruddy looking bath water I got from the souvenir shop around here somewhere.

    Making me feel homesick, methinks I need to schedule a visit to the UK to visit my family.

  5. A Lewis says:

    Are Happy Birthday’s in order? 21st?? I love, love, love England. The colored doors are my favorite pics.

  6. delmer says:

    A Brit I used to work with has a picture of himself sitting on one of the Stonehenge rocks. It was pre-fence, way back in the 60’s.

    I’m not the most religious of people, but I’ve got to admit, they used to throw together some spectacular religious structures.

    Was the US flag the only one there?

  7. whall says:

    That blue door picture seems like it should be on an album cover.

    Great. Now I’ll have to call up Peter Gabriel and collaborate with him on my next project.

    (which would be AWESOME!)

  8. Mooselet says:

    I’ve been looking at all your pictures of your time in England whilst glowing green with envy. I need to come into money somehow so I can go over there.

  9. Tug says:

    I can’t even imagine the feeling walking into a cathedral like that…and I’m not catholic. Beautiful photos, as usual. Thanks again for letting me travel vicariously through you!

  10. Crail00 says:

    A wonderful selection of pictures with great reviews.

  11. Oh, you’re so right. The pictures after the jump were amazing!

  12. Chag says:

    Stonehenge! I’m insanely jealous.

    Did you get to wear a hooded robe?

  13. shiny says:

    Wow! Stonehenge is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I imagined it to be about the size of something that could possibly be trampled by a dwarf.

  14. kilax says:

    That ceiling in the Bath Abbey is absolutely AMAZING!!!

    And so are your stonehenge photos. I am still laughing at the green beams. Ha ha. I thought you would turn into Dr. Manhattan after you touched it! FAIL!

  15. Kris says:

    Yeah, I hate when I feel things that are hard as a rock. It’s such a let down. ;)

    Happy Birthday, Dave.

  16. I take it you’re not a history buff like me? Visiting Stonehenge would be fascinating in my mind.

  17. B.E. Earl says:

    Stunning pics.

    Happy Birfday!

  18. ETinNY says:

    First of all; thanks for taking the time to take us along and for sharing everything with us, Dave. You might inspire some of us to get up off our butts and go there, sometime. I love the pix, too. You’ve got a great ‘eye’. I’m so glad you went to Stonehenge which has always fascinated me. It almost seemed like one of those “Twilight Zone” moments as the National Geographic channel had a 2 hour program on it last nite. I learned all kinds of things I never knew like there is a Woodhenge about 2 miles away & other interesting stuff. (BTW: Rerun next Sunday)

  19. serap says:

    Stonehenge was much better before they fenced it off, and you could take a walk around without paying a penny… but I guess it was an opportunity to cash in just waiting to happen. Happy Birthday… I’ll be in the UK at 6pm, so will give you a Birthday wave!

  20. Robin says:

    Bath Abbey is gorgeous…absolutely gorgeous! Happy Birthday!

  21. Sybil Law says:

    Everyone took all the Tap quotes! Gah!
    Anyway, fabulous pictures!
    And Happy Birthday!!!!!
    Hope you have a fabulous day!!!

  22. more reasons for me to be jealous….I’ve always wanted to go to England, and of course Stonehenge.

    Bath looks lovely and maybe someday I will get a chance to see it all….

    for now I will settle for seeing you in 2 weeks! :)

  23. Badger says:

    Those statues come to life when your back is turned. I saw it on a Dr. Who episode, so it must be true.

    P.S. Happy Birthday!

  24. Hilly says:

    I love Jane Austen stuff and am glad you got pictures of Bath! Yanno, cause it’s so all about me, of course. ;)

  25. Rick says:

    Did the guide tell you you can use TWO hands to topple the entire structure like so many dominoes? ;-)

  26. Beautiful photos!

    P.S.Here in France, it’s march 24! Sooooo…
    P.P.S. Happy birthday! :)

  27. Yun-Huei says:

    Happy birthday!! :)

    The doors look amazing, as do the rest of your pictures (as always)…

    (BTW it’s Jane Austen and not Austin…)

  28. claire says:

    The ceiling in Bath Abbey is quite spectacular. How were you able to get enough light to get decent photos indoors? I’m assuming you weren’t lugging a tripod. High ISO? or maybe you have fast lenses…

    Happy birthday!!!

  29. Neil T. says:

    Sad to say but despite living in England all my life I’ve never been to Bath or Stonehenge…

    Great pictures, and hope you have a happy birthday!

  30. Sam says:

    hmmm – about the American flag – I wonder if it’s there because of a connection with the only American museum in the UK (I think – could even be Europe!) – it’s just the other side of Bath – full of fabulous quilts and things!

  31. kapgar says:

    Didn’t that cherub’s mother teach it to never play with skulls? Parents these days.

  32. Poppy says:

    Happy birthday, Dave2!!!!!!!!!!!

    I pph the doctored Stonehenge photo.

  33. I always love your photos! These are fantastic!

    Happy Birthday!!!!

  34. Gabrielle says:

    Ha, I think I love you. I can appreciate anyone that “walks around and looks at doors and stuff”. Dig the humor.

  35. When I touched the stone it did turn green and I got teleported to Bournemouth and I cant find my way home!

  36. ~jtm says:

    Lovely, Dave your pics & commentary make almost make it feel like I was there. I long to get to England some day.

  37. Despite having lived in England until 21 I didn’t go to Stonehenge until a couple of years back. I think the colossal hangover didn’t help but I was somewhat disappointed. Plus it was raining. Yeah, hangover and rain – not an ideal combination.

    Never been to Bath, the photos are amazing though.

  38. Patty says:

    Thanks for sharing. Beautiful photos, love the architecture. I love to take pictures of old churches and oddly enough doors to some of the places I’ve been. ha!

  39. for some reason i am strangely outraged about not everyone being able to walk around at stonehenge. although i bet a small group tour makes for better photos and a more quiet experience.

    dave, i absolutely love that blue door photo. it is absolutely stunning. thanks for sharing all of these wonderful photos!

  40. Kailey says:

    That ceiling….. gorgeous.

    Thank you for sharing your travels. It makes me feel like I’ve seen moor of the world then I will ever be able to travel to myself.

  41. carlos m. hernandez says:

    I know it’s foolish, but I can’t look at the angel statues without being creeped out.

    Seems like the ‘Blink’ episode of Doctor Who has the same effect as ‘Psycho’ does for showers.

    Damn you Stephen Moffat!

  42. martymankins says:

    When you placed your hand on that rock at Stonehenge, were you playing “I Have The Touch” by Peter Gabriel? If not, then that would explain why nothing happened.

  43. yellojkt says:

    We did the Stonehenge/Bath day trip last Spring but didn’t get to walk up to the rocks. What a great experience. And Bath is just as gorgeous as your pictures.

  44. Gorgeous photos Dave. I have to admit I was a bit ‘under awed’ by Stonehenge also.

    RMB

  45. Michael says:

    So, I’m poking through your blog, and I get to this section here, on Stonehenge. I’m reading along, too-tee-doo, and then I see your pictures of what you _expected_ to happen vs. what actually happened. Now I have water all over my paperwork from laughing. I blame you.

  46. Dave2 says:

    Surely I can’t be the only one who has been conditioned to expect some kind of magical-mystical experience from visiting Stonehenge?? The hundreds of books, television specials, and movie references set me up for profound disappointment!

  47. Justin Scott says:

    Some BEAUTIFUL pictures here. Super jealous of the opportunity you make in your life to travel like this. I often imagine what kind of images I could create should I be able to travel like this. It’s been years since I was in Europe and I didn’t do photography back then like I do now.

    I’ll keep living vicariously through your meetups and pictures.

  48. Great photo’s. I would love to see stonehenge.

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