Whew. A Reader’s Respite has officially returned from vacation. We now require a vacation from our vacation. We’ll call it Secondary Vacation and submit our request at work forthwith. (We’ll be sure to let you know what the powers-that-be think of that.)
We’ve realized that for our purposes here, the saga-like vacation that A Reader’s Respite & Family embarked on some two weeks ago will have to be broken into multiple posts in order to encapsulate the entire experience.
Who put the driver’s seat on the wrong side?
After renting a car from Heathrow airport and spending the first hour figuring out this driving-on-the-oppposite-side-of-the-road thing (in a manual transmission, no less), we arrived in Wiltshire. A big thank you to all the kind, understanding and non-gun-toting British drivers would not be out of place here.
There would be no rest for Mr. and Mrs. RR until Big Kid saw Stonehenge with his own two (tired) eyes.
Big Kid loved the audio tour…it really was fabulous
The verdict? Clearly, Big Kid loved it which made the 24 hours with no sleep thing worth it. Mr. RR had him convinced that aliens were really the only logical explanation for Stonehenge.
Little Kid, however, succumbed to the dreaded 8-hour time zone change and slept through the entire experience. We suspect she’s going to be very angry about this someday.
Snarkiness aside, we were quite awed by the experience. The sheer size of these stones which were put into place 3,800 years ago is awe-inspiring. That England has managed to keep the site so serene (sheep were grazing for miles in each direction) is testament to the value they place on their history.
A big thank you to our dear friend Carey, The Tome Traveller, who recommended that we invest the time reading Edward Rutherford’s Sarum before we left on our trip.
Sarum, for those of you who haven’t tackled this monstrosity of a book, is a Michener-esque novel of Stonehenge and the surrounding area. Beginning with the last ice-age, the novel follows the descendants of two families through England’s history ending around WWII.
While it’s the characters themselves that keep you reading this 900+ page (hardback) chunkster, the historical detail of the Salisbury Plain was fascinating and enhanced our visit to no end.
Of course no visit Stonehenge would be complete without a visit to the gift shop where we picked up (of course):
We hear it isn’t Cornwell’s best novel, but under the circumstances we thought it well worth a shot.