Rain and Prehistory

Today was my first trip outside of London on this vacation. I took the train to Swindon and the bus to Avebury. There’s a stone circle there, ¬†the largest in¬†western Europe, and you get to walk right in amongst the stones. Of course, it started raining while I was out there, and really picked up when I started walking the ridge trail.

That, along with the fact that the trail was closed at a couple of places for erosion control, and I didn’t get to see as much of it as I might have liked. But it was still very cool. The site’s almost 5000 years old, and being among the stones – able to go up and touch them – was awesome.

I got a few pictures.

The Red Lion is the pub in Avebury. It brags that it is the only pub in the world that exists within a stone circle. Nice folks.
The Red Lion is the pub in Avebury. It brags that it is the only pub in the world that exists within a stone circle. Nice folks.
These stones, part of one of the two inner circles, sit in a sheep pasture. The only concession to the stone circle is a very new, moderately high-tech gate, and a sign saying to keep dogs on a leash.
These stones, part of one of the two inner circles, sit in a sheep pasture. The only concession to the stone circle is a very new, moderately high-tech gate, and a sign saying to keep dogs on a leash.
This is the smallest of the stone circles, in the same field.
This is the smallest of the stone circles, in the same field.
One of the big stones.
One of the big stones.
Another big stone.
Another big stone.
A row of stones.
A row of stones.
These concrete markers have been set up to show where missing stones - most demolished and used a building materials by the locals over the centuries - once stood.
These concrete markers have been set up to show where missing stones – most demolished and used a building materials by the locals over the centuries – once stood.
These two huge slabs bracket the ridge path entrance.
These two huge slabs bracket the ridge path entrance.
This trail runs along a ridge that has turned out to be part of an earthworks fortification. The path is clay and limestone, and got really slippery in the rain. Because of erosion repair, it only ran about a quarter of the way around the circle, and I couldn't get to the point where the Kennet Avenue led off to the Long Kennet tomb. I was sad.
This trail runs along a ridge that has turned out to be part of an earthworks fortification. The path is clay and limestone, and got really slippery in the rain. Because of erosion repair, it only ran about a quarter of the way around the circle, and I couldn’t get to the point where the Kennet Avenue led off to the Long Kennet tomb. I was sad.
Along the trail, however, were these trees with very cool roots all tangled together like a bunch of snakes.
Along the trail, however, were these trees with very cool roots all tangled together like a bunch of snakes.
I'm not sure what kind of trees those are, but they had a bunch of little heart-shaped charms hanging from the branches. It reminded me of the whitethorns - the faerie trees - in Ireland.
I’m not sure what kind of trees those are, but they had a bunch of little heart-shaped charms hanging from the branches. It reminded me of the whitethorns – the faerie trees – in Ireland.

By then, I was soaked. I got the bus back to Swindon, and the train back to London. Now, I’m going to bed, because I’m getting up at 3:45 tomorrow morning for my tour out to Stonehenge.

Goodnight, folks!