Monday, April 28, 2008
Second Day, Second and Third Stops
We headed on to Avebury after lunch in Windsor. My husband's people love Avebury, much more than the arguably more famous and fantastic of the pre-Druid stone circles, Stonehenge. Numbers like 5000 BC tend to impress, and we all enjoyed this visit, my second. Twas muddy and off-and-on rainy, just the way England should be.
My children were immediately transfixed.....by the humongous hills they could run and roll down. They didn't really get the fact that what they tromped about in might have been some major civilization's burial site or leadership gathering space...or maybe they did, but they really liked flailing about the expanse of land.
On to Stonehenge, which I was not prepared to love as I have cleaved to my husband and his likes and dislikes. BUT NO, I LOVED IT. IT WAS BIG, BEAUTIFUL, AND SUPER COOL!!! Some folks were doing seismological tests on the site. My dad, chatty as he is (much moreso with perfect strangers than his loved ones), found out all about these tests and then we were told about the first archealogical dig that would be taking place the very next week. That dig was the first in 50 years, and it proved very fruitful. (Be sure and listen to audio of Dr. Tim Darvill - what a great British character he seems to be!)
Stonehenge photo by my son.
The Volkswagen Sharan carried on to Salisbury to see the ginormous cathedral. Again, who knows how these people did it. Crazy. 1300 AD or something and the beautiful spires and ridiculously realistic carvings and feats of engineering boggle the mind. The cathedral was reverent and pastoral; the town was tiny and boring. We had a hard time finding somewhere to eat and were even turned away at one tasty-looking place due to the insanely late hour of 7 p.m.
But then we happened upon our happy little Gastro Bistro and it was cozy, warm, ancient, and tasty. Also - a seven-pound menu available til 7:30! Everyone had beers and soups and olives and burgers and were thus fortified for the heinous, rainy drive back to Central London whereupon we only got a little bit lost and had to hoof it back to the Tube station in the rain and HAD to stop so my dad could get Sprite for his imported Maker's Mark and almost had to pay the congestion charge.
That part, as you can tell, was not the best part of the marathon day...but we stayed happy and optimistic and even made a game of the late-night Tube ride with the children, amongst all the post-work revelers. We flopped into the flat, wet and weary, but with many tales to tell our sleepy aunt.
Posted by Belle at 11:59 AM