The coolness of that London morning air after leaving the hostel made me feel awake. The company of my best friend energized me. Going on a travel adventure with her was as good as it gets. One of my favorite things about my relationships with the people closest to me is finding ways to live experiences that will forever be ours. Charming moments of spontaneity and adventure that only me and the other party can have stored in our memories. A conspiracy to live extraordinary things. Today we were heading off to Stonehenge and Bath (both were places neither of us had ever seen before, despite her growing up near London).
This time, we got on the bus 30 minutes before departure. We drank coffee, and she braided my hair while we waited. The traffic in the city was not great, and the trip to Stonehenge was 3 hours long (more than the original travel schedule). 45 minutes on the road, and I immediately regretted drinking all my coffee plus a water bottle. There were no stops for 3 miserably long hours. Though I was glad to not be the only person asking if our two story bus had a restroom somewhere in the back, it was all I could do to sit still, close my eyes, breathe, and wait. My best friend laughed hysterically at me (which did not help me sit still). “Are you gonna write this on your blog, too?” she asked in tears… 😉 This one’s for you.
When you get to the Stonehenge site, the bus drops you off at the visitor center. All tourists estampeded to the restrooms in a way that would have made you think we were parazzi chasing Princess Diana back in the day. At the visitor center, you take a very short bus ride to the actual Stonehenge site, which was absolutely beautiful and mysterious.
There is something you should know right away, though. If you are anything like me, the crowd surrounding Stonehenge will immediately turn you off a bit…or a lot. Something about the noise of people’s steps and cameras flashing just takes away from that spiritual experience and energy emanating from the stones themselves. Still, you should do your best to move past this conflict and allow yourself to wonder at the mystical site.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument (or the remains of it) that still presents us with countless unanswered questions. No one knows why it was built, though there are theories, and some evidence that have been gathered throughout the years. It could have been a burial site (evidence of human bones from 3000 BC was found around 2008), a place of sacrifice, worship, and religious pilgrimage. Some believe the site is filled with maximum spiritual energy, and that the stones have a healing power. Whatever it is you believe or do not believe, Stonehenge provides us with an opportunity to reflect on ourselves as individuals and as humanity. In my own case, I felt awe in how little I know, and how little we still know about the world and the Universe. I stared at the stones; I appreciated all their strength and endurance…I was completely amazed at how much happened before I stepped on this ground, and how much will happen after I leave. It humbled me to see how little I have lived, and how little we (as humankind) know and understand.
We took a chance to reflect, and observe, to take a few cool pictures, and even had fun with a few Dance Dares. But as we circled the site, and walked back to the bus, there was one theme taking over all my thoughts. It was the concept of building something that would last thousands of years. To be a part of something that will continuously leave humankind vulnerable in their lack of answers and logical explanations. My only remaining question after that was: What does it feel to be a part of something so monumental, mysterious, and wondrous, that it still matters to the world even after thousands of years?