UNESCO World Heritage Site #22: Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (United Kingdom)

I’ve already detailed how freaking awesome it was to be able to sneak in a trip to Stonehenge on my London trip.  Going there I had zero expectations that I was going to be able to fit it in.

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Huzzah!!!!!!!!!

From UNESCO’s description:

Stonehenge is the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world, while Avebury is the largest. Together with inter-related monuments, and their associated landscapes, they demonstrate Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and mortuary practices resulting from around 2000 years of continuous use and monument building between circa 3700 and 1600 BC. As such they represent a unique embodiment of our collective heritage.

Stonehenge, besides being the best Microsoft XP Wallpaper ever, holds a special place in my brain.  It’s where Tess of the D’Urbervilles meets Spinal Tap.  It’s where National Lampoon intersects Pokemon. It’s where The Beatles cross paths with Black Sabbath.  It’s epic.  And of course, as every Brit looooves to tell you, it’s smaller than you’d think!

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It’s both impossibly big when you think about building it without machines, and smaller than you imagined before you got there.

I got to skip the guided tour and road trip from Winnersh with my friend Katherine.  Besides getting to spend some extra time with the coolest chick in the world, I also was really happy to see Stonehenge with a local who wasn’t a paid guide.  It’s something people cross oceans to see, but it’s in her backyard (essentially).  Gives a fun twist to the normal touristy schtick (although, I absolutely love touristy schtick for most occasions).

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View of Stonehenge from the road.

Driving up, Stonehenge is visible from the highway. The day we were there was one of two days that it didn’t rain the whole week, and the clouds were phenomenal.  Although I got so chilly standing on Salisbury plain in the wind.  England is far windier than I imagined, and I’m from the prairie!

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There are sheep…everywhere…

There are beautiful sheep all over who showed off a bit for the tourists.  And, after walking around peacefully for about thirty minutes, we headed into the gift shop…

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…where they were giving out samples of Wine!  I was so bone-chilled, the ginger wine warmed me right up!

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My favorite pic so far…but I still have about a thousand to go through.

I’m not even close to getting through my photos from the trip, but it was pretty easy to get shots without any people in them.  Probably helped that I was there on a windy Friday in early March.  Off season travel pays off, kids!

Is there a major site you go to add to a trip last minute? Add your comments below!

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