There was an error in this gadget

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day 6: Windsor Castle, Bath, and Stonehenge

By now you can tell that I am back from London and running way behind in posting about the trip. However, I still want to finish the write-ups. So today I'm going to write about our second bus trip out of town. We visited Windsor Castle, the Roman baths, and the well-known Stonehenge.
Outside view of one of the towers

Windsor Castle

The town of Windsor was quite beautiful. The old-timey look of the buildings was beautiful. The castle was beautiful too, of course. There was quite the line to see Queen Mary's dollhouse, though I didn't join it. I'm sure it's fascinating, but doll houses just are not my thing. Pictures inside Windsor Castle are forbidden, so I have mostly pictures of the outside (naturally). The rooms were immense, including the ball rooms the king's and the queen's), as well as the sitting rooms, presence rooms, dining rooms and the rest. There was one room that held what must have been the crests of every family in Britain there were so many. And incredible display. Upon talking to some of the staff, these rooms are all set up exactly as they are used when the royal family is there. It was great to see a part of that lifestyle. 

We also got to see the changing of the guard at Windsor. I was unable to get much in the way of pictures. A tourist there had her selfie stick in my face for much of it and I wasn't in the mood to run people down for better position. My favorite part of it was St. George's Chapel on the castle grounds. It was another beautiful cathedral and houses the tomb of the only Tudor monarch that was not buried at Westminster Abbey--Henry VIII. His tomb is located under the floor of the choir chancel. 
That green stuff is the "healing" water

Bath

Our second stop was the town of Bath, location of the Roman baths that were found not too long ago. The legend says that the waters of the Roman baths held healing powers and people came from all over to find relief from their sicknesses and ailment. I'm not sure I'd trust that water myself, but then I wasn't around in the first millennium A.D. The staff warned us not to touch the water or try to drink it. No problem there! They did offer that there is a fountain later in the tour from which you can drink (it's been treated), but I declined. My classmate tried it and vindicated my choice, saying it was horrible. Having tried the waters of the supposed Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Florida, USA, I figured that would be the case.


The balcony above the bath.
Apparently the water is green largely due to the limestone that lines the pools and resides beneath the baths. These waters "bubble up" over time. There were tons of bath salts and bath items for sale at the gift shop and I had wanted to get some, but decided against it. It didn't seem like much of what was there came from the baths, so it seemed irrelevant. I'll stick to dead sea salts for now.
Here is a pic of the balcony overlooking the bath. The statues are those of Roman heroes and gods. We had to leave Bath far too soon. Most of us agreed that we could have enjoyed much more time seeing the town.

Stonehenge

Part of the circle
Our final stop for this day was Stonehenge. I have always wanted to see one of the stone circles and this one was incredible. The audio tour was quite informative, too. It informs that the circle is aligned such that on the solstices, the sun rises directly over a certain stone. We still have no idea what purpose the circles actually served, but it is possible that it was some kind calendar.
A more distant look that shows one of the berms.

In addition to the stones, the circle is surrounded by these "berms" as the tour calls them. Many bodies are buried in some of these berms. The way they are designed, like a henge, is what gives the circle its name.

There are a number of other features of the area, but mostly it was just amazing to see such beautiful land, green and peaceful.


No comments: