Friday, April 22, 2016

#London Visit ~ #Soccer + #Stonehenge #cfc

Chelsea v. Man City
We’ve just returned from a whirlwind six day vacation in London, with a few day trips from our home base to see as much as possible!  Part of the reason we scheduled the trip when we did was to get our oldest son to a Chelsea Football game, since he’s a huge fan, and there was a big match aligning with our school break.  Because it was a big rivalry (Chelsea vs. Manchester City), we found out quickly that tickets were hard to come by—and expensive—but my husband’s business partners who are based in London came to the rescue, finding (and paying for!) four tickets.  The game was on our first day there, and we took our first Uber ride to the stadium, had our first restaurant meal in London, and shopped at the Chelsea mega-store before the match.  Unfortunately, Chelsea suffered a loss (0-3), but we had a great time just being there.  One major difference we noticed was that eating and drinking in the stands was not allowed…that’s a big part of American sports events, and vendors usually climb up and down the stairs with offerings.  But it did make the game more enjoyable from the standpoint that there’s a lot less interruption in terms of spectators leaving and returning to their seats.

We had a beautiful day
The next day, we took a bus trip to Wiltshire, to see the famous Stonehenge monument.  It was great to view some of the countryside on the trip there, and Stonehenge was amazing.  Just trying to wrap my mind around the idea that it was constructed 5,000 years ago was difficult…it’s hard to imagine how the ancient builders were able to transport, shape, and lift such massive stones.  But the paranormal suspense writer in me was even more fascinated by the myths and mysteries surrounding the stone circle.  Sections of the layout correspond to the sunset of the winter solstice as well as the sunrise of the summer solstice.  Excavated bones indicate the site has been used for burials.  But exactly who built it and why is up for debate.  Was the site’s initial purpose religious, astronomical, spiritual, or possibly a combination?  Or something entirely different?

I caught this bird taking flight - love this shot

Now, it’s a protected monument, and while at one time visitors were allowed to walk near and even climb on the stones, erosion and graffiti issues eventually led to a low fence being erected.  Every part of me wanted to jump over and touch a stone to see if anything happened, but then if I’d suddenly been transported back in time, Outlander-style (although those were standing stones in Scotland), I would have missed the rest of my vacation with my family, and we saw some amazing things.  The rest of the week included visits to the London Eye, the London Dungeon, The Churchill War Rooms, TheCatacombs and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the London Tower.  More posts coming on our adventures across the pond!  

It's incredible to think this was built around 3000 - 2000 BC!

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