Renting a car and going somewhere far away, like Amesbury, just to see some stones sounds quite silly. But that’s exactly what I did ! I embarked on a journey to see the circle of stones early in the morning, praying for better weather, as the day started gray and unfriendly. I continually scanned the horizon just to see the first sight of these magic stones. They were the “Stones”, placed in the magic circle of Stonehenge!
Stonehenge is a construction made of stones. It is very simple, very basic, very primitive and not of any sophisticated shape. No records of its creation exist and there is no evidence that ancient man (nor aliens) could ever build that structure. Today’s scientists and historians are still unable to come to a ironclad theory of how, when, why, what for, by whom, Stonehenge was built. It is a tough nut to crack obviously. Some people think it was the government of UK that put the Stones in this remote place some 50 years ago, and told people that the Stones are old, magnificent, mysterious, then added them to UNESCO list and made from them number one touristic attraction of England. Well, I must say it sounds quite possible and wouldn’t be surprising at all.
Whatever the truth behind the stones, I wanted to see them. As every tourist, I tried to spot them somewhere on the horizon as I drove through the fields of total nothingness. And then they appeared out of blue on a flat meadow, and could be easily seen from afar. I was not given to cheer my eyes by the sight of them for too long as I couldn’t stop the car, and passed the place, led by GPS and went to the Visitor Centre instead. There was no sign of the Stones here, except of a poster with their image and ”Step into England’s Story”written upon it and a souvenir shop. ‘Where the hell are the Stones?’ I wondered. They had to be somewhere here. But where?
The sun arrived at Amesbury together with me. Maybe I’m a witch and can control weather? To see the stones I took a minibus. If you want, you can opt to walk the path leading to the Stones. There is only one way, so getting there doesn’t seem too complicated. I didn’t have time so the packed bus seemed perfectly fine.
Stonehenge is surely Britain’s greatest national icon, symbolizing mystery and endurance. It has been called an astronomical observatory for marking significant events on the prehistoric calendar. Others claim that it had to be a sacred site for the burial of high-ranked citizens that live on the island ages ago. No matter what was it, it had to be very important to the ancient people. It had to be worth the effort of building it and dragging the Stones from as far as Wales. Maybe its reason for being is still to discover. If one believes movies it might be a place where the Apocalypse will start and the world as we know it, will end.
The area is protected by a rope. The site was roped off some time ago so that visitors couldn’t get too close, as in the past when tourists used to buy hammers in the nearest town so that they could chip off a piece of the sarsens as a souvenir. I’m quite surprised that people stay away from this super amazing and technologically advanced protection. But at least it doesn’t disturb and spoil the view. You can see Stonehenge from pretty close, quite far and very far. From every side it looks pretty the same.
I always thought of this place as magical. But when I went and stood face-to-face with Stonehenge I saw something else in this legendary circle of sarsen Stones. Now I hate to say this because I know that many people dream about seeing it same as I did, and I really wanted Stonehenge to be breathtaking and fantastic, and at first sight from afar it was, but my second, close up, look at it brought a small disappointment. In my mind’s eyes I was expecting Stonehenge to be a group of colossal blocks of granite, carved out of the core of the earth and brought to this spot by mythical Giants. But they weren’t. I can’t say they are small. They aren’t. In fact, it is a bit hard to judge their real size because you can’t actually approach them close enough. But still, they don’t look massive or huge. They look quite ordinary, nothing similar to pillars of the earth. They are big, but not impressively large. And the ring isn’t wide as well. It is one, rather small ring of stones. It didn’t feel that magical. Maybe I just had exorbitant image of it. I would definitely feel magic if a unicorn or two would graze on the Stonehenge field. But they didn’t.
Even if Stonehenge is not fully what I wanted it to be, I am still glad to say that I had finally seen the Stones. Been there, seeing the stones, circling them, and I was happy. There is magic in Stonehenge. But not the sort of a magic most of us expect. The magic is in silhouettes that appear together with the sunlight. The game of shadows is mesmerizing.
Frankly speaking, it’s difficult to grade an attraction like Stonehenge because what does it actually do? Basically nothing. It just stands in the middle of nowhere, and doesn’t even look pretty. You just look at it, walk around it, take few pics of it and then go home. But on the other hand Stonehenge is one of the seven wonders of the world and UNESCO site. So how can you not go? It’s Stonehenge after all! And believe me or not, but while you stand face-to-face with these Stones you feel the importance of the place. You can feel it even if you don’t know what it served for. It is grand! You can see that on the faces of people that stand in admiration. In fact, the only ones that don’t seem to be impressed by the Stones are the resident cows, who usually graze in the adjacent pasture. Well, they have a good excuse. They’re cows.
To sum this review up, I will just tell, that I will let everyone to decide for themselves, if to them, Stonehenge is a magical place, or is it just a bunch of rocks on the side of the road…