Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Stonehenge In Half A Day


When I was planning my trip to London, I wanted to visit Stonehenge after all that I've heard and read about it. So I informed Nat and he booked a half-day tour to Stonehenge for two from London.

On tour day the weather was bright and sunny - perfect for a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site!

We left the flat late that morning and took the 149 bus to Monument station where we hopped onto the tube and got down at the Victoria station. Then we walked to the Grosvenor Hotel on Buckingham Palace Road which was the pick-up point for the tour.

The bus left the hotel at 1.45pm and the 2.5-hour drive to Stonehenge felt like forever.

It was approximately 4.00pm when we arrived at the site and there were many people there already.


Looks like we were not the only ones interested in stones.

At the entrance to the site guides and officials were handing out brochures and audio guides to visitors.


These audio guides are extremely important if you want to learn more about Stonehenge, and it is included in the ticket price. But you must return them before you leave.


And if you're thinking of keeping them as souvenirs, think carefully as these audio guides have inbuilt alarms that will make you look so guilty the moment you cross the barrier out of the site.

After collecting our brochure and audio guide, we walked into a tunnel. When we came out at the other end Stonehenge emerged in the distance



and I was excited to see it. But somehow it didn't invoke the same awe and wonder like when I saw the Pyramids in Egypt for the first time a couple of years ago.

The stones were cordoned off and nobody was allowed near it.



I can imagine if tourists were allowed to touch the stones. Many would be climbing onto them for photo opportunities and some would even scribble their names on the stones - "Julie was here" ...

However this did not deter a couple from having their wedding photos taken there.



This couple can proudly show their kids in the future that mum and dad used Stonehenge as the backdrop for their wedding photos. Cool!

Nat and I walked around the stone formation while stopping at certain markers to listen to the audio guide and to read the brochure that provided a detailed explanation about Stonehenge. We only had one hour till 5.00pm before the tour bus makes its way back to London.

As you can see from the picture below, Stonehenge is situated in the Salisbury plains which is practically in the middle of nowhere.


Turn 360 degrees and you'll see miles and miles of flatland wherever you turn. Because there were no tall buildings around, it was very windy and my hair was flying all over my face. The sun was also scorching and I was glad I had shades to shield my eyes from the afternoon sun.

Soon we completed the entire circle and it was also time to head back to the bus.

Although this prehistoric monument is Britain's greatest national icon and is probably one of the most recognisable icons in the world, somehow it didn't stir feelings of awe and wonder in me as how I anticipated.

After all the hype about Stonehenge, it lives up to its description as just a formation of stones and nothing else impressive.

But nevertheless I can say that I've seen Stonehenge in real life and I can now tick it on my "Been There, Done That" list.


4 comments:

juphelia said...

When I finally visited Stonehenge, I felt quite let down. After all the hype about the stones, I kind of imagined they would be gigantic, but in the end they were just stone formations and not that huge too! Still, it was a good feeling to finally go there! Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!

Julie Lim said...

Juphelia,

Like you, I too thought the stones would be bigger in real life, especially after watching it on the media. Just goes to show that what you see on TV and on print is usually smaller in size in real life.

Cath J said...

Hi.. 1st time visiting your blog... NICE!!

Ow.. I never know that visitors are not allowed to go deeper inside.. ^_^.. But what ever you said was right... don't want any naughty to write something like that...

Love to visit this place 1 day... ^_^

Julie Lim said...

Hi Cath J,

Thanks for dropping by! I'm glad you like my blog :-)

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