Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Stonehenge Nerd-dom and Bath Exploration

August 30, 2009 · 2 Comments

When I heard that we would be going to Stonehenge, my first reaction was to check if Stonehenge was indeed the default desktop background for most PCs.  Upon learning that it was, I became even more excited. Is that nerdy?

I absolutely loved Stonehenge.  My mom had originally told me that it was used as a type of sundial, and a friend of mine told me to “enjoy being tortured and thrown into a mass grave” when I mentioned we were going there.  I hadn’t realized that there was so much speculation surrounding its practicality, and I think it’s fascinating that nobody knows for sure what it was used for or how it was created.  To be honest, I wish I was able to attend on my own, perhaps at night.  It’s such a beautiful place, so it makes sense as a tourist attraction; however, I do think the sheer amount of people takes away from the lonely beauty it seems to radiate.   I also didn’t realize that what exists now is not how it once looked.  Trying to imagine what it looked like as a full work proves difficult, but it must have been spectacular.

Bath was also a lovely place.  After many days of group activities, I enjoyed wandering around by myself and exploring the center of town.  The park was particularly relaxing, and the one pound fee to enter was entirely worthwhile.  Since pigs are my favorite animal, I was excited about the flower pigs that marked the entrance…it didn’t even occur to me that they relate back to the founding of Bath until someone told me that they aren’t there for my personal entertainment.  Oops.

To me, exploring the Roman baths did feel like stepping back in time, especially in the indoor displays.  I felt that the entire arrangement was very advanced for a people who lived such a long time ago.  There were even changing rooms and a system of pipes (even if they were lead), which surprised me.  I also didn’t know that the baths were not solely used for bathing, but also for social aspects, sacrificial rituals, and commerce in general. When I had the chance, I felt the water…it was pleasantly warm. Kudos to the Romans for creating such an exquisite spa and resort.

It was also fun poking around little shops, tea rooms, and cathedrals while appreciating various street shows in between (including an opera singer and a violinist).  The nature of the Bath Cathedral solely as a tourist attraction was a bit disappointing, but overall, I enjoyed both the historical content of Bath and simply exploring on my own.

Categories: Amy
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2 responses so far ↓

  •   russella // Aug 30th 2009 at 14:50

    I know exactly what you mean; all of our group activities have been a lot of fun, but it was so nice to get out of the city and be able to wander around by ourselves. It’s weird, but there is a world beyond London. I really liked stonehenge too, but I feel like they have played up the mystery a bit too much. While there is no definitive answer, some of the possibilities the head-set lady gave were a bit outragious. By the way, the reason we couldn’t go at night is because that’s when the aliens use it as a landing site.

  •   fitzgerald // Aug 30th 2009 at 14:56

    I couldn’t agree more with what you said about Stonehenge. Going there alone at night would be amazing. It is such a peaceful and beautiful place, surrounded by nothing but a green landscape. Escaping the city is completely necessary, and Stonehenge is the perfect place to do it.

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