“Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience — or give it a more fascinating name: Call it hope.”
— Jane Austen (novelist from Bath, author of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, etc.)
Have you ever dreamed of something you want so bad and yet you thought it is just within your grasp or just a step away from getting it, then all of a sudden, you lost it? Well, that’s the sad truth about life. These things happen, whether it’s about your dream love or dream job or as shallow as just a dream of seeing a pile of rocks, it still sucks when it happens right?
Last 2010, I thought I would be able to finally see Stonehenge when I planned to visit England then. I dreamed to see it as I only used to see it during lectures at my high school’s World History and in my Humanities class in college and I’ve watched documentary films also about its mystery.
Unfortunately, my UK visa then was denied. I initially lost hope that I would be granted a tourist visa anymore as I thought having denied once would affect my future applications. Then I met Laurie. I knew right there I can start to hope again :)
From Laurie’s hometown in Stroud, Stonehenge and Bath are just an hour drive away, so we set a day to drive around and see these places. But when Laurie asked me which henge I want to see, I realised that it wasn’t only at Amesbury that has stone henges, there are a lot and one of those is the Avebury Henge, which is also co-listed as a UNESCO World Heritage, and since it’s not as popular as the Stonehenge in Amesbury, it’s less touristy and I can get closer to the stones, yay! I’m glad we did coz it’s miles better than the Stonehenge I dreamed to see!
Avebury Henge contains the largest stone circle in whole Europe, larger than the Stonehenge in Amesbury, and it’s the mightiest stone circle ever constructed in UK. It is being taken care of the Britain’s National Trust, they try not to make it very touristy unlike the Stonehenge by not building any modern building nearby, not even a souvenir shop.
However, we saw one little souvenir shop owned by them, hmmmm…they also asked for 5 pounds for parking, but then we realised afterwards that we can just park outside the pub along the road, which is just after the pay carpark >.<
Aside from the henges, you can also see other things inside the Avesbury Henge Compund, like these:
On our way to Stonehenge, we saw lots of interesting sights like several barrows (burial mounds) in many forms like the Silbury Hill which is the largest man-made mound. We also saw the Cherhill White Horse, one of the oldest stone artwork on top of a hill.
Upon reaching the Stonehenge, the usual road where you can see a glimpse of the Stonehenge was already closed. Again, it is because the Britain’s National Trust is trying to develop the tourist spot. We saw a construction of a huge building right at the mouth of the new road leading to the main entrance to the main site, this building will serve as an archaeological museum and souvenir shop soon.
It was already mid-day of summer so it was very hot at 32C when we got there! It may be the best time to visit Stonehenge, as I imagine it will be too cold and windy if it was raining. The queue was quite fast moving, and the audio-guide is a very good idea to be compulsory for each visitors, otherwise if you know nothing about the mystery of the Stonehenge, you will only perhaps just think of it as pile of stones :P
Stonehenge and Avebury Henge are very magical places. Because of its mystery, Thor Part2 will film some scenes here, perhaps they will use it as a portal from Earth to Asgard? Maybe hehe…
There are a lot of myths surrounding the story behind WHY it was built by the Neolithic people before. Why would they carry/drag these huge stones from Wales all the way to Wiltshire, and why did they pile it in such a way. Myths such as — it was used as a burial place, or a celebration site, or a pilgrim for seeking cure, or for sun worshipping, or perhaps it was built by the aliens! Or just by the forces of nature, like glacier carried these stones.
And because it still remain a mystery until now, it became a sacred site for eco-pagans or environmental groups who believe in the intercession of the fairies, pixies, etc. Actually, they gather here during summer solstice to celebrate.
On our way back home, we stopped by for few hours in Bath, which is a MUST!
Bath is a world-class destination, it was like being back in Rome again! This is where the Romans settled when they reached the isle of Britain 2000 years ago. It is surrounded by hills and this is the only place in UK with natural hot springs making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site too. It is a walkable city, it is so gorgeous that Laurie and I didn’t notice that we already walked past twice around the city haha!
We didn’t go in the Roman Baths anymore as the entrance fee is around 12 pounds and we only have few hours left, but I think it is still worth a visit. The atmosphere in Bath is very romantic, no wonder Jane Austen wrote a lot of novels about love ;)
Bath is also a favorite film location of a lot of movies not just the film adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels. One of the recent film shot here is Les Miserables, the scene where Russell Crowe committed suicide is at Avon River here in Bath.
Then we stopped by a pub (of course!) before we head off, we had to rush back home after a pint of cider because Mum will be preparing barbecue dinner for us!
Another tick off my list! Yay!
There are still a lot of things I dream in life. Some of which I have lost hope, and some of which I still continually hoping up until now. Sometimes, when bad things happen, I just always remind myself that no matter how cliché’ it may sound, things happen for a reason. I may not know the reason now, but I know someday I’ll understand why it did, and perhaps I will be more thankful for it!
Everyone desire things in life that they know will make them happy, and let this experience be a lesson for me, that I should just wait patiently, no matter how long it takes, I’m full of hopes that my happiness will find its way to me in His time :)