Stonehenge is a tourist trap.
There, I said it.
On the way to the city of Bath this past weekend, we passed Stonehenge, what Discovery channel would have us believe is one of the most exciting discoveries of modern times with a high controversy factor: did aliens drop those massive boulders in the middle of nowhere? Were ancient civilizations super advanced? Who created Stonehenge?
Well, whatever the mystery is it lost its shine for us when we realized it was going to be thronged by tourists who trekked 2 hours to the middle of nowhere, lined up 1.5 hours to huddle onto transit coaches to be brought to a field of rocks they couldn’t touch, so we just made do with quick rubbernecking from the highway and stopping for a pint of some fantastically juicy British strawberries from a roadside farmer-vendor.
But then came Bath. As we approached, we caught sight of this fairy city with spires and turrets that seemed to be carved into its surrounding hillside.I don’t think I got a picture of that view so just to give an idea, look at the top right corner with that building above those trees. Imagine a whole hill carved out like that and that was Bath. First up, a quick lunch at a pizzeria nestled inside an old, old building with a hidden alcove of a dining area out back. The pizza was yummy and the elderflower lemonade divine. The kids of course couldn’t help being silly but that all added to the enchantment of it for once.
Next, the town cathedral, a spectacular church surrounding a bustling town square. The main tourist draw, the ancient Roman heated baths that give the city its name, we didn’t sample because kids aren’t allowed in there. I suppose I can understand how a spa-like experience can be ruined by having annoyingly loud creatures careening past you, so that was a no-go. I can’t say I missed not going though.Mostly we just ambled around the city and it was mesmerizing to realize that people have been walking these paths for centuries, touching those same stones, whispering in those same corners that I’m looking at today. It’s quite enormous, if you think,about it.