Monday, July 7, 2014

euro-whirl 2014: stonehenge.


STONEHENGE. when we went to london in december, we told a few people here & there we really wanted to visit stonehenge - & then this time around, when we discovered we would have more time to do so, we told people we were planning on visiting. both times, most reactions were something like, "...really? it's kind of boring." interestingly, almost every british person we told that we were going to stonehenge (our taxi drivers, etc) said, "don't go! it's so boring. every american wants to go to stonehenge, & i guess it's something to do in life before you die, but i don't know why." after hearing such doubt from our countrymen across the pond, we still knew we wanted to see stonehenge, but we were wondering if it was going to be as boring as everyone said it was going to be. we're now happy to report..........IT WASN'T.


what to say about stonehenge? it's enigmatic - it just suddenly appears out on a huge green field in the middle of nowhere. i was telling ben i actually really love that it's in the middle of farmland - it almost makes it more striking than if it were in the middle of a giant city. you know how beautiful european cathedrals are usually smack in the middle of a loud, bustling metropolis? like, people came along & built a civilization around them? stonehenge commands the entire land around it. the silence of the area COMPLETELY adds to the historicity, & mystery, of the landmark. so so good.


what else to say about stonehenge? it was such a thrill, in a nerdy way, to be near something so.....so.......old. i'm kind of a sensory person, that is, i love to touch the things that i'm seeing. when we're at museums, i desperately want to run my fingers over the paintings, to feel the brush strokes, the places where the paint is so thick it raises off the canvas. i - *literally* - have to keep my hands in my pockets whenever i'm around a van gogh painting. :) so at stonehenge, i really wanted to run up & just touch such ancient-A stones. & it didn't help when i discovered there are times of the year when you can walk through the stones, & touch them, & that the stones weren't even blocked off or monitored until the seventies!


these audio guides came free with our tickets, hence the saucy bright green lanyard around ben's neck. audio guides are truly the best. i'm SO glad we were able to listen to cool british voices tell us more about this mysterious place.


i mean...we loved it. we didn't find stonehenge boring at all. like i said, it was thrilling to be at such an ancient, important site, & to see it surviving after so many years (& a lot of upkeep; apparently rocks have fallen over, they've dug up underneath a lot of it, people left graffiti for many years, it survives the druid festivals that happen there every year...). ben & i discussed our theories as to what stonehenge was used for...it's crazy that after all this time, it's still a little unclear to everyone what exact purpose such a place served.


ben listening to the audio guide :)




a few pictures of the surrounding area...there really is nothing else around. it's quiet, which adds not only to the peace, but also the mystery, of the place. why did those early humans choose this exact spot in a random field? whatever the reason, the entire surrounding space become an important site - there are random hills & bumps scattered around which were also created in the years stonehenge was, one of which you can see in the left portion of the photo below. what were those mounds for? it's cool to think about. that adds to the cool eeriness of the place - all these things kind of loom out of the distance. you can read more about it HERE. i kind of wish that in heaven, the entire history of the world will be on a tape & you can rewind back to any time you want, & just watch. i would totally rewind allllll the way back to when stonehenge was at the peak of its use, & sit back, relax, grab some popcorn (& not worry about calories, of course, because it's heaven) & watch just what the heezy went on. 








unlike our british taxi driver, we would zealously recommend anyone to go visit stonehenge. :)

OMG most importantly!! when i posted a stonehenge picture on facebook, a friend of mine from taiwan linked to this video. it's by that group ylvis, that also did the "what does the fox say?" song. i knew ylvis did other songs, but i was not aware they made one about stonehenge?! yet another reason i'm so glad i served a mission. i got my taiwanese friends always looking out for me, making sure i stay current on all the internet funnies.

the video is so, SO funny, & so true in the pressing question that it asks: "what's the deal with stonehenge???" ugh, ben & i cracked up, & then proceeded to watch it five more times. it's so worth a watch. be warned that there are 2 swear words, & a 2-second reference to sexytime that happens between a husband & wife joined in the bonds of marriage. here we go:

3 comments:

  1. Haha, love the music video!! Found your blog through facebook and you always post the funniest stuff (my hubby actually served with your hubby on his mission). Went to London several years ago and skipped Stonehenge because, like you, we were told it was boring. Regretting that now!! LOL.

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    1. Isn't the music video so funny? Ben totally remembers your husband - small world! Welcome! I know, it seems like the mission of {British} people to actively dissuade anyone from visiting Stonehenge. Ha!

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