Visiting Stonehenge

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Do you ever look at a photo and it suddenly hits you how much has changed since you took it? These photos were taken on a holiday I took at around this time last year and it feels like my whole world is different now. From the outside it may seem the same; same flat, same job, same dog but at the same time, everything is different. My five-year relationship ended, I made new friendships and rekindled old ones, I learnt how to live and be alone, and I'm not that same person who took these photos only twelve months ago. In fact, I can barely recognise her. 

It feels like a strange irony that I'm writing about changes in life when my photos are of Stonehenge - a monument that seems almost eternal. These stones have stood in place for thousands of years, weathered generations of humanity while I've only lived another year, a tiny blip in the larger picture of both the world and my life. It's a timely reminder that although things have changed I've somehow survived it all; solid and strong in my own way. 
Anyway - let's get on with what I had planned to talk about. Stonehenge is somewhere I've always wanted to visit. I've always been fascinated with prehistory and the monuments that have endured since that time. Finally seeing it in person was everything I could have hoped for. The distances these stones travelled and the organisation and effort involved in erecting them is absolutely incredible.

For those who aren't history buffs here's a little background. Stonehenge is in Wiltshire and is part of a complex of prehistoric monuments in the area, which includes several hundred burial mounds, The site around 1500 years to complete, with different aspects of the monument being built at different stages. It started with a circular bank and ditch enclosure around 360 feet in diameter around 3100 BCE or 5100 years ago and it looks like the site was in use until the Iron Age (between 1200 BCE and 1 BCE). That amount of time is just mind boggling. 

We'll never know exactly what the spiritual or religious significance of the site is but it is surrounded by burial mounds and shows evidence of use at different points of the year. It still has ritual surrounding it today, in fact as it is the summer solstice the site was opened up to the public this morning. It's one of the only times you can get up close to the stones, the rest of the time they keep you a distance away so that they can protect the integrity of the stones.  

It's an amazing place that I am so happy to have seen. Editing these photos and writing this post has been a little bittersweet but it's also making me excited for all the other places I can visit and learn more about. Time moves and things change but some things will stay the same - like my awkward photo face...
Alice xo

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