About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Stonehenge, Avebury and the Cotswolds

During the Night:

I woke up around 3:30am to the sound of the fire alarm. I heard the bell, but it sounded like it was coming from another building. The power in our room was out, so I couldn't see much. Then I heard people in the hallway going up and down the stairs. I woke Katrina and Brandon up, we put some clothes and shoes on and headed out of the room. The owners spotted us in the downstairs hallway and told us everything was ok.

Apparently all the heavy rain during the night created some leaks on the third floor. One of the drain pipes in the roof got plugged up. It sounded like they had a bit of a flood up there.

We returned to our room and found one outlet that worked, my bedside lamp. Thats when we noticed water soaking its way down the wall behind our bed and in the ceiling. We notified the owners and went back to bed.

About 10 minutes later I heard a fire truck pull up. The flashing blue lights lit up our room. I thought, here we go again. When I looked out the window I saw that it was not at our building, but another one about half a block away. Probably more alarms set off by flooding.

The water damage in our room.

The Henry. The interior is beautifully restored, but it is a very old building.


All three of us were very excited about today.

Our hosts at The Henry made another excellent breakfast for us, then we headed off to meet for our day tour. We are taking a Mad Max Minibus Tour. This is a small day tour in a 16 passenger minibus. I think we actually had about 10 of us. It was nice and personal. Our first destination was Stonehenge, about a 45 minute drive from Bath.

Stonehenge is as old as the pyramids of Egypt. This stone circle even amazed early Europeans who thought it was built by giants.

First Stop - Stonehenge

Brandon listens to the audioguide

We spent about an hour at Stonehenge. Once everyone was loaded back up in the van, we headed to Avebury.

Crop circle.

Thatched roof

Thatched roof repair. It's very expensive these days.

Avebury is an area of Neolithic sites around a great stone henge, dating back to 2800 B.C., six centuries older than Stonehenge. The circle of Avebury is 16 times bigger than Stonehenge, and less touristy. The stones are not carved like the Stonehenge. They were left in their natural state.

In Avebury visitors are free to walk among the stones, mounds and ditches. The village of Avebury is located in the center of the great circle.

Brandon searched for water. Our guide let Brandon use his Dowsing Rods.

Silbury Hill. This pyramid-shaped hill is 130 foot high, located just outside Avebury. It is estimated to be over 4,000 years old and is considered the largest man-made object in prehistoric Europe.

Our next stop was the town of Lacock. We had lunch at The George Inn, a pub that dates back to 1361. Inside the pub they have an old fireplace with a roasting spit that was powered by a dogwheel. Very interesting.

After lunch we meandered through the town. Lacock village is often used as a filming location, appearing in Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, Wolfman and two Harry Potter movies.

Professor Slughorn's house, from Harry Potter

Love the exposed wood beams

Harry Potter's house. His parents lived here before 'He who must not be named' killed them.

Lacock post office - for Andy

Brandon makes a friend

Our last stop on the tour was the village of Castle Combe. The castle is gone, but the village lives on in a narrow valley. It's importance as a weaving village has a long history. This village has also been used in several movie productions, including the original Dr. Doolittle, and Stardust.

When we returned to Bath, Katrina decided it was time for tea. The Pump Room at the Roman Baths is the suggested tea room in town. It's a very posh (English for 'fancy') tea room. The scones and treats were delicious.

We were tired from a long day, so we took a break in the room for a bit. Katrina wanted to head back out after dark to take some night shots. I ended up watching some TV - Friends and Big Bang Theory. Oh how I've missed TV shows in English!

This evening we took a walk around Bath so that Katrina could take some night shots. We ended up having a light dinner at KFC. KFC, of all places. It was the only thing open near our hotel.


Tomorrow we take the train to York, in northern England.

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