Stonehenge and Winchester

An Interesting Pile of Rocks

Everyone has heard of Stonehenge in some way shape or form. Whether the topic is history, architecture, or magic people can’t deny that Stonehenge is one of a kind. The origins as to why it was built is a mystery and the amount of effort to enact such a monument took over a 1000 years. Whoever created Stonehenge were a group of sophisticated and brilliant minds to pull it off. However, at the end of the day, Stonehenge is still a pile of rocks. Or at least that was my original thought. What could make it so special? Why was a bunch of rocks such a big deal? As the trip was getting closer, my skepticism increased when I found out that I was going to be there for three hours. Despite all this, when I arrived at Stonehenge I soon realized that maybe these piles of rocks were more interesting than I thought they would be.

Stonehenge has three parts the stones, the museum, and the huts. While you walk around the stones you get a voice box that will give you facts about Stonehenge and its surrounding area. Even though the surrounding area doesn’t have too much around, the information was very interesting which enhances the experience. The voice box also mentioned things that I didn’t originally catch, such as the paved entrance and barrows. Most of the information is about the archeology and the changes that ensued during and after Stonehenge was built.

Once getting back from Stonehenge, via the bus or by walking, you could explore the museum and huts. The huts were supposed to be an adaptation of what the people who built Stonehenge might have lived in. Inside, aside from a food court and gift shop, is another mini-museum about the famous pile of rocks. Here you could get information on previous Stonehenge theories, a time lapse of what Stonehenge looked like over the years, and more information on the people who lived near the area.

At the end of the day, Stonehenge had a lot to offer. Plus with the mystery and multiple theories as to why Stonehenge was built, you could technically pick your favorite theory. We will probably never know why Stonehenge was built, but we can a least appreciate it.

The Quaint City of Winchester

Less than an hour away from Stonehenge is the city of Winchester. As you enter the main shopping courtyard, there is a statue of King Alfred the Great. Apparently, King Alfred fought off Vikings and eventually became the dominant ruler of England in the 9th century. It’s really cool to see really old history being integrated into modern cities. Around Winchester, there are castle ruins, a giant cathedral, and a lively town center.

My first stop was seeing St. Giles Viewpoint. Off the Weir’s river path, there is a little hill where you can see the City of Winchester. It was quite scenic and I was able to get a good view of where everything was in the city.

Afterward, I visited Winchester Cathedral. I find in the UK that there are two types of church buildings, those that are free and those that you have to pay. Understandably the churches use that money to upkeep the building, but sometimes it can be a bit pricey. Winchester Cathedral had a pretty good offer; the church offered a one years pass to visit the cathedral for under seven pounds. All in all, it was a good deal, so I decided to take it. The cathedral was very grand and felt almost as big as St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. Many famous bishops and political figures of the middle ages are buried there, most of them being the Bishops of Winchester. Another famous person in a different subject was Jane Austen. Dying in 1817, Austen was buried at Winchester and the cathedral had a section of the church dedicated to her life.  

The last thing I did at Winchester visited the shopping center. There I saw a street performer doing magic tricks and there was a local market going on. After visiting the area I stopped at a local bakery store, for a nice spot of tea and a muffin. A nice way to end my trip.

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