Visitors to Britain! Leeds, Stonehenge, and London
Don’t miss the royal Armory on the canal.
The Armory was terrific!All of us enjoyed it immensely. If you ever have the chance go. It would only be better if it wasn’t in Leeds. There was even a very interesting display of stuff from the WETA Workshop that did the costumes and weapons for Narnia, Lord of the rings and Hellboy, to name a few.
From Leeds we had a very long drive through the rain to Avebury. In Avebury is a very large stone circle that dates to 2600 BC. It is much larger in size than Stonehenge. It is possible that the stones were once the same size as those at Stonehenge but they were systematically broken down by the villagers to destroy their evil (spooky noise here).
the museum there is full of information about the area. It gives you a much better idea of all the activity and construction happening in the area at about the time the stone circle was constructed. At Stonehenge the focus is almost entirely on that stone circle alone. I was somehow offended and amused to see a number of individuals dressed up in their various ideas of Druid robes of worship. Unfortunately for them Druids didn’t exist until long after those circles and the other mounds were built.
The Henge shop is very charming. It is full of crystals and spellbooks and other hocus pocus. Interestingly is is built over a ley line. Of course there were the necessary copper divining rods in the shop. If they were iron rather than copper I would think they had buried a big electromagnet in the floor. Del and I have relations who were water diviners. I am a bit sensitive to these things even without a tool so I thought that, given they were getting it from both sides, one of the lads might be too. Son #1 was unaffected. Son #2 had the wands really twist in his hand each time he intersected the line. Ley lines are easier than water but I’d like to think he would have made a fair living at divining water for folks.
Stonehenge was still awe inspiring. Sometimes it seems that the stones are so large and obviously heavy that they should bend the landscape around them. I love going to these sorts of things better than anything else. I am so curious as to what they were really for.
It was a fast, fairly easy drive into London marred only by the necessity of paying the congestion fee. London is a different place from 20 years ago. Then it was choking in diesel and car fumes. Now it is lovely. There are more buses and taxies than you can imagine. There is never a problem getting anywhere. Even when they closed three lines on August 2 & 3 we still got everywhere we wanted to go.
Madam Tussaud is an expensive fraction of what it was the last time I was there. They have removed over 2/3 of the models and turned it all into England’s version of Disney land; long lines, photo ops and little of the fascinating content that was once there.
Tower of London. Always a good trip. The tour with the Yeoman Warder is very entertaining and gives you many of the gruesome details. Unlike some of the other places we have gone like Chitzen Itza where there is no sense of anything the Tower has that chilly greasy feel of lingering energy. I didn’t find Stirling Castle to be like that at all. Interestingly Stirling castle was home to Scottish Kings until James V of Scotland who was James I of England (Elizabeth I’s heir). The white tower was home to English Kings. Of the two we unanimously agreed that Stirling was far nicer. No wonder Henry VIII moved into Hampton Court Palace.
The London Eye was wicked. It was so cool to look at the whole city from above. There is so much of the fabulous architecture that we have never had the opportunity to appreciate before. The parks in London are not to be missed. So perfectly designed.