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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

34. Stonehenge?

I had always told myself if ever I went to England, I would visit Stonehenge. What a marvellous wonder to stand among those mighty rocks built thousands of years ago, no-one knows how they came to be there and how they were transported there. There were no machines or electricity then. A bit like the pyramids - how did a people manage to haul such large and heavy stones/rock?

Anyway, imagine my disappointment on learning you can no longer walk among those majestic looking stones, or touch them. The have been roped off for "protection". People have to pay and are herded in like cattle. I have heard from a number of people you can just drive past on one of the roads, stop the car and take a photo through/over the wire fence. For free. Although I did hear that something was being done to change this - a bit of research shows that road (the A344) was closed last year. Source

Also, there's a timed ticket system, if you're going by public transport, make sure you time the train with your entrance time! All up it will cost £65.40 per adult. That's $118.25!

But .... then I read you can do "access tours". These are either at sunrise or sunset, a small group of limited numbers, and you get to walk among and around the rocks and touch them. Hmm, that sounds alright thought I. The catch was the price - £109.00, almost $200. It's a lot of money and I took time deliberating. Then I read a rather interesting blog (can't remember the name, sorry) written by someone with an obviously jaundiced eye and many photos included.

On seeing that glass and metal visitor centre photo the thought that came straight to my mind was, "God, what an eyesore." And the photo of some bloke pulling on a piece of rope? How dumb, pulling a rope on a ruddy big rock on wood. I can't believe people actually do that. It looked more like something from a bad American theme park than a set of pre-historic standing stones. The writer may have baulked at paying £13.90 but for me, it would have been £109.00 - that's close to $200.

I've heard comments about them being just a “load of old rocks” - I know that feeling. All my life I have wanted to go to Ayer's Rock (now called Uluru) and when I finally did, I paid $200 for a helicopter ride to fly over them and all I felt was disappointment and later, walking around it when I placed my hand on the rock and waited ... I felt - nothing. All I thought was, "It's just a bloody big rock."
Two hundred bucks to look at some big rocks and a cutesy imitation village? Nah, I'll keep my money firmly in my pocket thanks.

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