Tag Archives: Tourism

Stonehenge and Space Odyssey

In general I don’t love large tours.  However, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip with Premium Tours.  Our guide tried and succeeded in making us the first people to enter Windsor Castle, which enabled me to have my fabulous experience at the church.  He cracked a lot of jokes throughout the day and provided a lot of history and information.  He also didn’t mind when we went out on our own.

But my favorite thing he did was timing the theme song to the Space Odyssey with the first sighting of Stonehenge.  As the bus climbed the hill we listened to the beginning of the song and as soon as it went “DUH NAAAAH” we spotted it.  It may sound cheesy but it made it even more impressive.

Not that the 40 ton rocks that are between 4-5 thousand years old need additional fanfare to make them impressive.  But like Darth Vader walking around to the Imperial March, it does add to the overall effect.

Stonehenge first view

Our guide told us that a few years ago a team of engineers, archaeologists and scientists tried to move just one of these rocks the 250 miles by the leading theory of how they were moved thousands of years ago.  They made it to the river and it got stuck.

Stonehenge close-up

Did you know Stonehenge was used as target practice by planes during World War II?

Stonehenge

This artist was bundled up and sketching the monument.

Artist sketching

Did you know the sun lines up through each archway (if they were all there) during each month?  And it lines up perfectly through the top and the bottom stone (think 12 and 6 on a clock) when it’s summer and winter solstice?

Did you know it’s fun to play with your shadow and dance, even if other people stare at you and think you’re a little crazy?

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Did you know the Bluestones are warmer than the air in the winter and colder than the air in the summer?

Backlit

If you don’t take a tour here, or if your guide is not as fantastic as mine, I highly recommend listening to the Space Odyssey theme song anyway.  It just fits.

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Windsor

When it’s sunny, the outside of the castle is as impressive as the inside.

Windsor Castle

The British flag and the Queens flag were both flying high.  When the Queen’s flag is up it means she is here, but I didn’t see her, Prince William, Prince Henry or catch a sighting of Kate.  Maybe Kate & William got their own place after they got hitched?

Windsor Castle Street View

I followed the “no pictures” rule inside the State Apartments because of the crowds and the guards.  And because my tail was still between my legs after the scolding in the church.

After viewing the apartments I went to the changing of the guards.  This alternates, every other day between Windsor and Buckingham.

Changing of the Guards

It was impressive!  The beat of the drums echoed throughout the area and after the guard change a military band played Christmas Carols for about 30 minutes.

Beat of the Drums

I decided to each lunch on my own instead of with the tour bus.  I enjoyed wandering through the streets to find a pub.

Near the Main Gate of Windsor Castle

I found a great place and enjoyed a steak and potato pie.

steak and potato pie

Then I wandered through a few shops until it was time to meet everyone at the bus.

Sweet Shop

Windsor town is cute!

Shops near the train station