Friday, November 15, 2013


Upon the realization that we'd be in London on June 21, 2013 (the summer solstice), I decided that the most appropriate place to be on that date would be Stonehenge.  So I booked a guided tour that had us at Stonehenge during the summer solstice sunrise. The trip required that we depart London at 1:00 a.m. for a three hour bus ride.

As we neared the site, a strange gray mist enveloped everything. My perception of Stonehenge is that it is now fenced off and visitors can admire this serene, mystical place from afar.  But I learned that on the solstices, visitors are allowed to enter the massive monument.  These photos depict what I expected I would see at Stonehenge, particularly in the misty light of of a summer solstice dawn.

But my expectations were completely wrong. Because if you tilt the camera down, you can see the raucous, chanting, drunk crowds that invade the place in celebration of the start of summer.  No peaceful Druid celebrations here. (Well there were, but they were pushed far from Stonehenge in hopes of finding some miniscule moment of peace.)  This is an atmosphere that one might expect at Burning Man.

As we left to walk back to the bus, the misty dawn and rolling fields created magical vistas. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  I'm certainly glad I did it.  But I wouldn't do it again.

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