London 025The most famous landmark of England needs no introduction. At Salisbury, just a short distance from London, this mysterious engineering marvel of its day has always fascinated me.  As a child, the stores of outer ring of Welsh granite and the inner ring of blue stones dragged hundreds of miles on the back of determined human effort, were some of my favorite pages in the Encyclopedia. Finally, I saw Stonehenge in person in Summer of 2005.

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To know the mysteries of Stonehenge, I recommend taking a guided tour of Stonehenge, which starts from the visitor center across the road. When I took the tour, the guide carried a device, that detected magnetic lines traversing the Earth, to support a theory which postulates that this site was chosen as one such magnetic line originates at Stonehenge. The device had two sensitive wires to be held one in each hand. They remained parallel until we approached an invisible line. Then suddenly, they crisscrossed. Again, as we moved away from the line, they immediately settled back into a parallel position. Even I tried this and it was totally bizarre!! Many people felt this magnetism even without the device.

London 032Still this does not explain why Stonehenge was built! As I walked around the circular structure, I noticed small bumps in the ground. The guide explained that these are ancient burial sites, prompting some to call this a sacred burial ground.

In spite of all the mystery, what is certain is Stonehenge is an architectural masterpiece of its day. Making pillars out of rocks 20 feet in height and 60 tones heavy by making them stand straight and then laying equally heavy rocks on top of them using nothing but pulleys, is no small achievement. Notice also the small cones on the top of the pillars:  these were used to hold the horizontal rocks in position.

Although, many rocks have collapsed or withered now and those standing need or have support, few places inspire awe like Stonehenge does. I look forward to visiting Stonehenge again someday. You should too, and check it off your bucket list.Stonehendge_Panorama

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2 thoughts on “Day Trips from London: Stonehenge

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