16 September 2013

Day Twenty Nine [Stonehenge & Bath Daytrip]


Our first program inclusion day trip was held today, in the form of stones-of-magic-or-forced-labour-whichever-tickles-your-fancy and the-city-Jane-Austen-hated-to-live-in!

Also known as Stonehenge and Bath!

Because I was excited for the trip, I didn't get much sleep the night before. For once, I packed nourishment for myself to last me the entire day (watch this kind of preparation never happen again, terrible I am). Cup of coffee. Energy drink. Another energy drink. Liter of water. Peanut butter sandwiches. 

I was ready for the coach ride to Stonehenge! We drove past the English countryside plains, to more English countryside plains. Our tour guide, Tim, as we got closer to Salisbury, told us about the Romans kicking the Celts out and the many theories as to how Stonehenge was created (plus the other various rock formations in England).

At just after 9:30AM, we had our first glimpse.

 Fun fact, the mound on the right is a burial ground. So. Many. Burial. Grounds.

I think that being in England for the past month has deteriorated my (already) small tolerance to the cold. My fellow Minnesotans would be disappointed in me. It is freezing in Stonehenge! If you decide to go in future, LAYER UP!

 Welcome to the Jungle Stones!
 Sadly, we weren't allowed to touch the stones (or have a lunch there)
 Jen, Melody, Kasey, myself, and Jorge

My favorite picture from the entire day

We were only there for about 45 minutes, so I rushed out, stuffed half a sandwich into my mouth before getting back on the coach (oh yes, so attractive, dear readers), and then headed out towards Bath!

Also apparently there's an American Museum, which we drove past on the way (yeah, that seems very random to me too - but they have Al Capone's cigarette case, if you like that kind of historical thing).

The thing about Bath (not just the fact that Jane Austen lived here, and hated it) is that the entire city is protected as a World Heritage Site, Bathonians aren't allowed to renovate (unless they get permission, but really not something that happens). Because of this, Bath is essentially like walking into the 18th and 19th century.

We walked down Gay Street (yes, this is a street name... yes, it actually IS related to Jane Austen, as it is where she used to live) into the sort of center of the city. The Jane Austen Festival was going on, something that we didn't know about until this morning, and there were loads of people walking around in period costume. But, our main attraction, unfortunately, was not the Festival, but the Roman Bath!

 Look at all that history!

 Roman Bath! In Bath!

 Bath Abbey

 Standing on all that history

Taking a drink of some of that history Roman Bath water

We were in Bath for a few hours, but it honestly didn't feel like we had enough time. Bath seems like a great place to take a weekend holiday. I don't think I would want to live here, though. You need to be pretty wealthy to be a Bathonian. It was gorgeous though. I wouldn't be opposed to going again. I actually enjoyed it more than Stonehenge.

Stonehenge, to me, reminded me of Mount Rushmore. The majority of the trip was surrounded by flat plains and small towns. And cows. The place itself was way colder than you expected. You couldn't touch the stones, and there's a gift shop in the background in which you never, ever, see in the pictures. Loads of history, but very touristy. Not exactly cozy, you know?

Stonehenge was cooler than Mount Rushmore, but both have huge similar themes as far as experiencing it goes.

We arrived back in London at close to 6PM. I immediately went back to my homestay, kicked back with a nice drink, and watched D make sourdough bread (it was amazing, especially with homemade plum sauce).

Til next time, lovelies!


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