Stone Henge

I didn't mention that I traveled to Stone Henge/Salisbury on Sunday. It was my first real journey outside of London and the 2-hour train ride there revealed some British countryside that reminded me a little of the American Midwest with a few more hills.

So... Stone Henge. Some people claim to be disappointed by it, but it was very near to what I expected. Located in the Salisbury plain, it was pretty damn cold and windy. Sheep were chilling out nearby but kept away from the Stone Henge area by a not so inconspicuous electric fence. The road is right next to Stone Henge too. I must say, the 20-minute bus ride there gave me a newfound appreciation for London buses. Sitting on the top-deck of the bus, it felt more like I was rocking in a boat.

I tried my best to listen to the free audio tour guide thing, but my fingers were freezing as I held it to my ear. My Stone Henge travel pals, Gabor from work and his fellow Hungarian friend, relied on me for listening to the important bits and relaying the information. I won't go into what I learned, because that would be (more) boring... but it was a good time and I'm glad I went. In the gift shop, I flipped through some photography books of Stone Henge from 1900-present and was kind of shocked to see the vandalism that persisted at Stone Henge until the '70s. People put tables and chairs on the lintels and drank up there. They chipped bits of rock away for a souvenir. And they wrote on the actual stones. So... needless to say, visitors are kept a safe distance away. Good.

We also ventured into Salisbury itself, home to Salisbury Cathedral which boasts a.) the tallest church spire in the UK; b.) the largest cloister and largest Cathedral Close in Britain; c.) the world's oldest working clock from 1386; and d.) the best preserved of the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta (we unfortunately got there 5 minutes too late to glimpse it). Who would've thought...

It was cool to travel with Hungarians and ask them about their country/history. They kind of laughed about it and all the arbitrary borders for Hungary and neighboring countries which are home to many Hungarians also. It's also a feat to overcome mistranslations, as they speak "British." They're what I would call fluent, but things still go awry with accents, pronunciations, and American/British colloquialisms. Anyways... that's a wrap.