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Saturday, July 05, 2003

Day trip to Avebury....not Stonehenge.

On my sixth trip to England, I was able to pass up the temptation (not!) to visit Stonehenge for the third or fourth time in my life. Honestly, you must trust me on this, Stonehenge is just a circle of rocks in the countryside, and not much of a site at that. Still, for some reason, year after year, tourists flock there to walk around and gawk.

Avebury is much harder to get to. It took us most of the day to get there and back, starting out from London. You need to take a 90 minute train to Salisbury, where you can catch a slow, slow bus to get the rest of the way, changing from the #3 bus to a #5 or #6 in Amesbury. Total journey time of nearly 4 and a half hours (there must be a better way, but I haven't found it yet!) we arrived to have a total of about 45 minutes to walk amongst the much larger display of often much larger stones. I must say that even before we got off the bus and saw the odd spread of the remaining stones I was overcome but a sense of mystery and downright weirdness. Even in its currently over-developed state--the town has grown right around the site--there is still a sense of history here that is unmistakable. And hearing "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" by Meatloaf blaring from the pub jukebox at the Red Lion where the bus stops only contributed to the feeling of being somewhat displaced in time.

I will go back to Avebury. But next time I plan to spend a a full day there.

Back to the hotel after that to drink too much wine and break the hotel room chair and fall squarely on my ass. This morning, I boldly went to the front desk to request a new chair.

Off to Southwark to see the Globe and the Tate Modern.