Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stonehenge, Stourhead, and Bath

     Today was yet another gorgeous fall day (I seriously don’t know how we have been so lucky with the weather) and one of my favorites thus far.  Abby and I woke up at the crack of dawn (5:35AM) and went running before breakfast.  We then pack our lunches and loaded the coach by 7:30AM.  We all took nice naps on the coach and arrived to Stonehenge around 10AM.  It was barely sprinkling when we got there, but by the time we walked up to the stones, the sun was out and it was beautiful.  Stonehenge was so cool, but nothing like I expected it to be.  First off was the location.  I imagined it to be off the road and somewhat remote.  Turns out it is literally on the side of the road.  We were just driving along a regular highway, and then there is was right outside the window.  The second thing that surprised me was the size.  The stones are large, but the formation together is much smaller than I had imagined.  It really is amazing to look at the location of the stones and wonder how and why they were brought there. 

"Rock On"
(no pun intended)


 After Stonehenge we headed to Stourhead.  Stourhead is an English estate known for its gardens and architecture.  The inspirations behind the creation of the gardens were painters Claude Lorrain, Poussin, and Dughet.  Knowing this explains how the gardens came to look so exquisite.  On a hill overlooking the gardens is the Temple of Apollo, which is where Mr. Darcy first proposes to Kiera Knightly in the pouring rain.  We walked around the entire perimeter of the gardens and explored the beautiful grounds.  The temperature was perfect and I couldn’t help but taking loads of pictures.  This is my new favorite place we have visited.  

In the cave

On the Bridge

     After spending a few hours at Stourhead, we headed to Bath.  Upon arrival we met outside the Roman Baths and toured through on our own.  We were each given an audio guide, which made the experience much more educational.  It was amazing to think about all of the people who have bathed in the baths and their purposes in doing it.  My favorite bath was probably the “Sacred Bath” which is a natural hot spring or the main bath in the middle of the complex.  After the baths, we walked around bath, walked around Bath Abby, had some homemade fudge, and sketched in the main square.  We then loaded our coach at 5PM, but didn’t get home until about 8:30PM.  Overall, it was a really fun and interesting day.  

Aside the main bath

Middle of the Baths and Bath Abbey

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