Sunday, 24 June 2012

June 20: Stonehenge


So I said that we decided to go to Stonehenge on a whim during the middle of the week? Well that happened, and it was an interesting adventure.

Summer solstice is the big pagan ritual at Stonehenge that celebrates the longest day of the year, and its a worship of the sun. I don't know why we thought it was a good idea. Other than you get to see the sunrise at Stonehenge, and usually you can only see the stones from far away. We got to touch them,and stand in between them. Its the only day of the year they are open. So we decided to go make a trip of it.

Wednesday night we got on a train at 10 p.m. which ended up being actually the wrong train line. It was a cross country Train and we were only allowed on Great Western. I have not yet traveled without something going wrong, and that is unusual for me. But the ticket taker said get off at the next stop or I'll charge you. We got off, but it was ok because it was where we were supposed to get off at Reading. Since we got super cheap tickets we had to switch trains like 3 times. We found the next train to Basingstoke and got on that. Then in Basingstoke the next train to Salisbury was an hour and a half later. Side note- We had to take a train to Salisbury, then a bus to Amesbury, and once there, Stonehenge is like a 2 mile walk from the bus stop. So anyways we like hung out in an empty train platform for an hour then finally got the very last train to Salisbury. Once there, it was about 1:45 in the morning. A couple other people get there that you can tell are going to stonehenge. The last train conductor locks us out of the train station because he wants to go home. Its pouring rain by this point and theres no buses going back and forth anymore. We're standing outside with this group of Italians who have a digeree doo which is this weird instrument that you blow into and it is really like just vibrations. So they have that and tons of weed and lots of piercings. I can tell its going to be a weird night. We finally catch a taxi that will take us, with these other Americans. It ended up being cheaper than the bus to take a taxi and they dropped us off right up close. Well relatively close. We still had to walk a mile through fields and security and drug dogs to get there. This whole time its raining and approximately 3 in the morning. We finally finally get up to the stones.

Its really just a big circle of rocks with tons of hippies standing around and dancing around to drums and digeree doos. It was kinda fun, for awhile. It was the greatest people watching opportunity that I've had in awhile. We met all kinds of people, some Spanish and Italians and British and Americans. We stood there from 3:30 until like 6ish. But the sun was supposed to rise at 4:52. Of course it wasn't sunny at all. The clouds were so thick that it was impossible to see any sun, it just kind of got a little lighter than the night. Watched some druids do their rituals, that was just weird.

We decided to leave, so we walked the two miles through the fields to the Amesbury bus stop. Got on a bus and passed out we were so tired. Since we had cheap tickets for the Salisbury train we couldn't leave till 8: 45. Just like every other person... So we were shoved in with all the smelly people. We went outside and fell asleep on the concrete outside the bus stop like homeless people. Finally they let us on the platform and we made our way back home. I was so disgusting while we saw all the girls going to the horse races in their cute heels and hats. Fascinators, I just love those.

We made it back to Oxford at about 10: 45 thursday morning. I had my tutorial that afternoon, so I didn't go to sleep cause I didn't think I would wake up. I showered and got ready for my 2 hour tutorial with Jure Vidmar. My last one. I had written 2 papers for him that week, and I was worried I was just going to pass out the whole 2 hours that I needed to be smart.

I actually did much better on my last two papers, and he said I improved alot. We talked about the first paper, and then the second one I had to read aloud. Just imagine a band-aid being ripped off very slowly. That's kinda how it felt. The Oxford tradition is that students have to read their papers out loud. It is SO effective at making you a better writer. He handed me my paper, and I had to read it while he had one and was just sitting back in his chair. He stopped me every 5 seconds really. He would ask why I wrote certain things, or if that should be there, was it necesary? Every sentence in my intro he stopped me and was like why did you write that. It was a little bit painful, and i'm so glad I did it! After two hours of just chatting with my professor I should've been like so tired, but I just couldn't stop grinning after I left. It was a really great experience having this tutorial and I think I learned alot.  It definitely will help me in the fall at school, just being prepared for classes and actually working hard. School at home is nothing compared to this, so I have no excuse.

That was a fun two days that I didn't sleep at all. 48 hours without sleep. When I got off my tutor no time to nap, I had to go to Dr. Snyders for dessert night. Dr. Snyder made us all dessert, which was so good. Then we all watched Lord of the Rings, and I had to try so hard not to pass out.

Thats all for Wednesday and Thursday, next blog is London!

Train ride!

Statue of the first man worshipping the sun

Old druid. The arch druid of glastonbury?

 Really crowded stonehenge
I got stuck between the stones!

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