24 May 2008

May 24th, 2008

Coach Trip to Old Sarum, Stonehenge and Avebury
Last Thursday was our first coach trip in ages. We had Gary as our driver and one of the new coaches and we had front seats for this trip. Brian and I always love having the front seats so we can look out the big window and chat with the drivers too. Well the trip was held up an hour out on the M25 it is one of our motorways here and it is known as the giant parking lot. Well it was after there was an accident that caused huge tailbacks, but luckily we had Gary as our driver. He found an alternate route and our trip was only delayed an hour. Otherwise it would have been alot longer if we had stayed on the M25.
Our first destination stop was the hill fort castle of Old Sarum. Again we were lucky to have Gary as our driver as I trust him and there was one heck of a tight turn with a ravine if you missed it. He does amaze Brian and I on how well he can maneuver the coach. Here is a link about Old Sarum . Sorry but I left our guide book on the coach. Or I could tell you all a bit more about it. But then again I don't want to bore you too much with words when I have loads of photos to bore you all with.

You first approach the ruins from the parking lot via this Bridge.

Ontop of the bridge looking down the moat area. You start to get a feeling of how big this hill is and to think it was all done by hand. No giant diggers or front loaders or bulldozers!!!

What is left is the foundations of the castle.

The walls that are left are comprised mostly of flint.

It is amazing wandering through the ruins and very quiet.

You can but wonder what these features were used for.

Here is some of the corner details.

And some old Roman Tiles used for part of the wall.

More corner details.

This is looking over the top of the previous photos.

Some of the flint wall.

I enjoy looking at the flint and all the different patterns in it.

Here is some very pretty lichens

It looks very manacured and tidy.

The grass was absolutley gorgeous much like a luxurious carpet.

From the top wall you can see the remains of the Cathedral that once stood outside the castle grounds.

Brian and I had our sitting down there on the grass by the remains of the cathedral.

Something that amazes me about Britain is the size of the trees. They are huge!!!!!! On the wall of the castle just above the entrance bridge there are some huge yew trees!!! I have only seen them as little shurbs before. These are massive trees.

Not sure if this is a drain or for pouring boiling oil onto unsuspecting invaders.

This is the back wall of the castle.

And I noticed you could see the tool marks in the stone. And yes I had to touch it.

It truely is an amazing place and I really do wish I hadn't left the guide book behind.

This looks like an alter or bed built right in the stone. It looks to be using more of those Roman tiles.

This looks like it could be one of the column bases.

Here is a photo of the bridge that you cross into the ruins.

Yup it is high up!!!! And I think that is one of the yew trees on the right.

Amazing how they keep the grass so well manacured even on the bumps.

Next on our agenda for the day was to visit Stonehenge. Brian kept giggling at me, because he could see how excited I was to finally get to see it. I have it as my wallpaper on my computer so I look at it every day. Now I can put up one of my own photos of it instead of using the one windows has provided.
You are no longer allowed to get close to the monument. And they are going to be building a new visitors complex and rerouting the roads so that cars won't be allowed near it in the near future. The day we visited the site there was a report on BBC that some vandals had chipped a piece of the stone off for a souviener. They only did the heal stone, but were stopped before they got to the circle stones. Of course when I got back, all my Ebay mates thought it was I that did the vandalizing. Silly girls!!!! I knew they would blame me.

I found it quite interesting walking around it that it would change looks so much. Here is the slaughter stone in the foreground.

Walking around it you are at different distances to the stones. And where you are nearest there is a national trust security person watching.

It looks like Brian is right in amongst the stones, but it is a trick of photography. As he is quite a distance from them.

Another shot of Brian and Stonehenge.

See I was there. And it was a little windy. I wish Brian would let me know when my hair needs sorting out!!! See why I prefer being on the other end of the camera.

This is the heal stone that the vandals chipped a bit off. It is right near the road to the parking lot.

It is a pretty good walk around the stones.

There is a little ditch too that runs around the bit of a hill the stones sit on.

I kept expecting to see the Time Team crew there, but they must be done with their excavations. They keep advertising that they have a new program coming soon all about Stone Henge and maybe revealing some of it's secrets.

Little mentioned are the Barrows.
After walking around the Henge, Brian and I walked out to take a look at the Barrows. There were 5 out in the middle of a cow pasture. So we were dodging the cow pats along the way. It is no wonder my feet were hurting. We managed to walk around these 5, but didn't get out to the one a bit further out. The pasture was full of daisys and buttercups and there were skylarks singing away as we walked.

They look just like hills out in the middle of the fields and there are more along the horizons as you look around Stone Henge.

Here are some of the Daisys and buttercups.
Wikipedia - Stonehenge
Off to our next destination Avebury and along the way we saw Silbury hill as we drove past it. I though they were going to excavate into the hill to see if anything was there. But I haven't heard anything about it. Again this hill was done all by hand. No Bulldozers to make it.

Wikipedia - Silbury Hill

The first time we visited Avebury we had just bought our Canon digital SLR camera. And I was so excited. That day we went on what felt like a 12 mile hike. This time we just took a few photos of the stones and lots of the sheep and then had a lovely glass of red wine sitting outside the Red Lion Pub watching the traffic go by. The stone circle at Avebury is so large that the village is inside the circle. It really is a massive archeological site.
Wikipedia - Avebury

The last time we visited there weren't any sheep in the fields. Not sure if that was during the scare of foot and mouth. But this time there were lovely sheep all over the place. I couldn't make up my mind to either take photos of the stones or the sheep. So have taken them of both.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos. It was starting to get a bit dark from the cloud cover and nubbins here forgot to switch her white balance on the camera.

This is one of the smaller stone circles.

Awwwwwwwweeee isn't it cute!!!!

It's Mary's little Lamb!!!!

This old gal kept an eye on me.

This one just looked so different I had to take her photo.

You can see some of the alignment of the stones here.

Brian investigating the hole in this stone. Not sure if he is trying to push it over or if he was just tired.

You can see some of the stones are quite large.

The sheep use the stones to rub against as I think they would prefer to have the heavy woolly coats off now that summer is coming. They also sit next to them. Not sure if for shelter or protection or ???

This Rook wanted his photo taken too and was just singing away to us. More like croaking to us actually. They make a weird sound.

Okay this photo needs a caption to it.

I now know where dreadlocks come from.

More stones lined up.

This lamb is almost as big as mum. I love the white on her head.

This just looked so lovely I had to take the photo.

Finally here comes Gary and our Coach to take us home.
We really did have a super day and it is taking me a few days to get over the blisters on my feet. Also suffering a bit of motion sickness I think as it is now day two and I still feel like I am moving. Maybe by Monday I will be over it so we can go again..... Off to Wicomb Fen and the Raptor centre....so stay tuned.


Nettie said...

Wow...I am sooo jealous of you...love your pictures & descriptions & links to all the information...absolutely wonderful.

Pat said...

Awwww thanks Nettie. Maybe one day you will get over here. And we must meet up if you do!!!!

Lincairns said...

Great photos Pat, looks like you had a lovely day, I love the castle pictures. there is always a stillness in ruins, and stonehenge is just so mysterious!
Hugs, Linda x

Pat said...

Thanks Linda!!! Yes, it was really quiet at old Sarum, but a bit noisy at Stonehenge from all the tourists.

The Urban Chic said...

Pat, what wonderful pictures. I look forward to your many coach trips especially now when gas is so high to go any where worth seeing. Great picture of you and Brian. Love and Hugs, Pat

Crafty Gardener said...

What a lovely coach tour. I really enjoyed the photos, made me feel like I was there too.

Pat said...

Thanks Linda!!! It was a fantastic day and glad I could take you along.:)

Anonymous said...

Good pictures Mom. Looks like you had a great trip. :) Love ya. ---Dan

p.s. Got the post card. Thank you. :)

Pat said...

Thanks Pat! We have had our coach trips for a bit now. Will be just us going out and about now.

Dan thanks!! Yes we did have a lovely day. Glad the card got to you okay.:)

inspiration=creation said...

awesome pictures!!!

Pat said...

Thanks Jackie!!! :)

Pat said...

Hello Pat from another Pat!
I always have to say hello when I see another Pat on blogger.
I enjoyed this post about Stone Henge. I just returned to NYC from Ireland and some of your sights reminded me of the ones I saw there.
Hope you come by my blog for a visit!

Pat in NY

Pat said...

Hi Pat and welcome to my blog. Your trip to Ireland looks like you had a lot of fun there. Maybe one day Brian and I will make it there.