On one cold, rainy morning this summer, we rode the Tube to our program’s London offices to board a coach to Stonehenge. Of the two available coaches, we were fortunate enough to choose the one that included a rather…interesting tour guide.
As we set out on our journey, heads started nodding and heavy breathing could be heard — after all, it was just past 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Unfortunately for those trying to catch up on their sleep, our tour guide launched into a long, rambling tale of Stonehenge and the mystery surrounding its origin.
Did Druids build it? Is it a calendar? Could it have been aliens? Nobody knows. And, as far as my peers were concerned, it was an inconveinence to hear these tales when Mr. Sandman was trying so hard to recapture their attention.
But with phrases like “Feel the warmth of the stone” and “Let us go back into the mists of time,” she was hard to ignore. These ended up entertaining my friends and I to no end. Supposedly, the stones used to build the mystical circle have magical powers and are always warm.
I can assure you, dear reader, that this is not the case.
Stonehenge is a huge tourist attraction, so there were tons of people hanging about. My favorite thing about Stonehenge on that day was actually the mini-Stonehenge we ended up building out of Jenga blocks at a pub in Bath.
While seeing it on that Saturday was awesome, I didn’t really experience the “magic” of Stonehenge until a month later. It was 1 a.m. and I was in a car heading out to Glastonbury Music Festival. The dark was all-encompassing, with the silhouettes of the hills just a shade or two darker than the sky behind them. As we got close to Stonehenge, my friend told me to keep an eye out of the right-side window. And then, there it was. A structure that has survived the tests of time, standing tall on a hillside in the dark, pure and primal.
That is the only way to truly experience Stonehenge, when it is free of gaping tourists snapping pictures.