Sunday, April 16, 2006

# Stonehenge

Finally, we've been to Stonehenge! I've always wanted to visit this mysterios place since my first year in UK, and finally we've done it.

Six of us rented a car and started our "journey to the west" (from London to Bath). It was quite challenging driving in UK as none of us have really drove in UK before, and only one of us have international driving license. Some road signs are a bit confusing, and there are many turns that we actually missed 2 turns during our journey. To add on to our anxiety, the only driver with the international licence is used to left-handed driving! ... But luckily, our journey turned out to be quite smooth, except some small misses and confusion.

Our first stop: Stonehenge

The sunshine was so good! So I am quite happy with the photographs we've taken. Here it is - the famous stones!

A little bit of facts and myths...
Stonehenge, built at around 3100 BC, at Wiltshire UK, was a myth that has yet to be solved. Various speculation about its uses include astronomical purposes, human sacrifice, pagan worships and religious ceremonies. It was constructed in three phases - the earthwork, the arrival of bluestones, the arrival of sarsen stones, and some rearrangement. (More details)

At the first sight of the stonehenge, I realized it was smaller than I have imagined. Yet, its magical effect still caught my breath. Although it is no longer a complete circle as it has been, the stones still exuded an air of mystery. As we stood gazing at the structures of stones, I somehow felt being tranported back to time. The wind seemed to be whispering in my ears about the old myth; there seemed to be sounds from the past echoing in the wide plain; the place actually felt ancient to me.

Despite having known about stonehenge in books and documentaries, I can't help pondering about the same old questions that have been asked many many times. Why did people build it? Why the efforts of dragging the bluestones, and why the construction and reconstruction? Why does it have such an appeal even after so many years?

I decided not to write a long essay of its history, myths and facts here. Reference can be made from some links like Earth Mysteries, Wikipedia and others...

But I do wish to share this feeling of awe at the sight of these magnificent stones. Its immensity and its grandness still held power over people, or at least, over me.

There is a phrase from the commentaries that I like, "Even if the stones are removed and all that is left is the empty plain, this place would still be a mystery with the untold ancient stories and memories."



(Bath trip to be continued...)

11 comments:

Z.J. said...

Thanks YD!

很好聽的背景音樂..是甚麼歌曲?
你知嗎? 我的電腦卓面也是用了此(Stonehenge)圖片,它給我一種神秘及寧靜感覺.
在閱覽你的Post及關於Stonehenge是如何建成及基於甚麼原理而起的網頁時, 我發現了一樣事: 原來這兒的理工學院的校章也是依它的原理(Stonehenge的重建圖)而定的. 這是其網頁http://www.ipm.edu.mo/search/index.html..是否類似?

期待你的下一站旅程…

YD said...

谢谢 zj

背景音乐是来自"千与千寻"的其中一首主题曲. 下次再播放其它的音乐, 戏里的音乐都很优美. 这次配搭的音乐是为了配合stonehenge的那种神秘,而且有点诡异的感觉...

到了那网站了, 其圆圆的造型,还有中间的图纹, 果然似曾相识! 谢谢你分享喔!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Oh, no...

Why am I thinking of Spinal Tap?

In ancient times...
'Undreds of years before the dawn of 'istory...
Lived a strange race of people...
The druids...

YD said...

hahaha moody.. now you started it, hehe..

Happen to have a clip of theirs, Listen to the Flower People.

They sure are "interesting".

Pandabonium said...

Wow! I am so envious that you got to see Stonehenge. Did you get a picture of yourself there?

Ancient people were far more ingenious than "we" give them credit for. It brings up other ancient mysteries that fascinate me. Rapa Nui (Easter Island) for one, and Thor Heyerdal who showed how they may have moved their giant statues and later showed how Egyptians could have crossed the Atlantic. Also I remember an aqaintance, Barry Fell - an epigrapher who showed, through the study of petroglyphs and stone writings, that many ancient peoples including Celts came to North America from Europe BCE.

I'm trying hard not to think about Spinal Tap or any other "heavy metal music" (sic).

YD said...

hehe panda, I am too busy snapping photos of the stones from all angles.. but luckily my friends did caught me in a few of their photos. :-)

Yes, there are so many mysteries that "we" can't explained with our so-called "high" advancement of science. We should really pay respect to them!

I remembered that similar feeling of awe when struck by the grandness of the great wall of china. Rapa Nui is another thing I have wanted to see, like all other wonders in world... There are so many to be seen, so many to be observed!

The famous Kon-tiki! the migration! but what about the moving of the statues? various hypothesis include rolling trees, lava flow, etc.. What's your view?

oh no... spinal tap again..haha.. Who knows next time we would bump into related words with XJapan too?
Amethyst anyone?

The Moody Minstrel said...

YD and Panda, have you seen the movie that started it all, This is Spinal Tap? That has to be one of the funniest movies ever made.

Even funnier is the fact that most if not all the events that happen in the movie are parodies of things that happened to real rock bands through history. (Example: The "tiny Stonehenge prop" thing was a takeoff on the band Black Sabbath, who actually had a Stonehenge replica made for a tour, but they never used it because it was too big to put onstage!)

Pandabonium said...

Never saw that movie Moody- sounds funny. I'll watch for it, perhaps i'll come across it some time.

It seems the Rapanuians used up the trees in order to move the statues about. There have been various theories put to the test, all of which seem to have some merit and some problems. Heyerdahl tried out some ideas which you can see and read about in his 1957 book Aku-Aku.

YD said...

haven't seen the film too. did some research online and found this:
Quotes from Spinal Trap
I think I will start searching dvd for rent. hehe... they are crazy n funny, love it!

panda, i haven't really read aku-aku before, only some excerpts of his important discovery. Looking up for it, and trying to get hold of the documentary kontiki too. :-) thanks for sharing.

Happysurfer said...

A mystical and interesting icon. According to one source, the stones were brought over from someplace far away by way of
cylindrical pillars placed under the slabs and rolled along. Of course this is one theory, the truth sadly, we will never know.
Thanks for sharing your visit, YD.

YD said...

thanks happy

Bluestones are found in Preseli mountains in Southwest of Wales too, and they found tracks of the traportation of the stones from Preseli to wiltshire, so they deduct they come from there...

This way of transportation of heavy objects seem to be used in a lot of the magnificent monuments/wonders. It makes us think about the exchange and transfer of knowledge and technology among countries in the world in ancient times...