Letting someone else do the planning

Today we went on the first of our day-long guided bus tours for sites near London.  First stop, Stonehenge!

It was a dramatic cloudy day, just the thing to imagine all those ancient Britons dragging rocks across the field for whatever reason they dragged all those rocks.  We had a grand time.

And here’s a Kate-and-Diana henge, visible through the stones:



Then it was a matter of who could do the best impression of the frowning stone.  You tell me – who wins?

Then it was off to Salisbury, a town near Stonehenge, where they have a terrific gothic cathedral and plenty of Elizabethan architecture.  In fact, Kate looked at buildings like this one and said that she always thought that kind of thing was just a spoof in amusement parks.  She found the real thing to be quite disorienting!

I particularly like the way that the British include a little modern art with their ancient buildings.  They had several plastic statues of modern folk around the cathedral.  Here’s one of my favorites:


And here’s the modern baptismal font, complete with reflection of the cathedral ceiling.


Interesting factoid: William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies, was a teacher at a boy’s school in Salisbury.  Yes, that’s right.  Lord of the Flies was inspired by its author’s time spent teaching young boys.

Then it was off to Bath, including the Roman baths there.  Where, interestingly, we ran into our guide from the Jack the Ripper tour last night.  (Good thing too – he owed me a piece of candy for knowing who the current Duke of York is, which he paid off today.)

Here’s the baths, with Kate in the foreground:

But my favorite thing that happened in Bath was when we hit the gift shop.  There was a copy of a guide of the Bath Fashion Museum.  Fashion museum, said Diana?  We still had forty minutes before the bus had to leave, and it was only a ten minute walk to the museum, so Diana and I put on our rocket boots and sped our way through the lovely Georgian streets of Bath.  We did a mad tour of an exhibit on movie costumes, including the following from Young Victoria:

Then, confident that we had twenty minutes left, allowing for a leisurely wander back down the hill and a visit to the Bath Abbey (where Julie, Andy, and Kate went instead of the Fashion Museum), we turned a corner and found – there was another whole floor of period clothes!

Yes, we did that floor.  Yes, we picked up a book for Diana in the gift shop.  Yes, on the way back we did a quick pass through the abbey.  And yes, we made the bus on time!

I do love adrenaline siteseeing!

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