Salisbury and Stonehenge England

Woke up today with fax under door that my flight from London back to New York was canceled due to inbound flight not arriving because of weather back in States. Now Scheduled to fly back Saturday afternoon, means an extra day in London.
Ok, I have extra day in London, what’s one to do?

Stonehenge England

Stonehenge England

Think I’ll do a day trip and head up to Salisbury and Stonehenge , overcast skies but decent weather and not wanting to waste a day I grabbed my Oyster card an headed to the London Underground and made my way from Gloucester Station to Waterloo Train Station.
Waterloo Train station to Salisbury on South West Trains, ticket cost 32.80 pounds, with ticket in hand and trains leaving almost 2 times an hour I had 7 min to catch the next train, perfect timing.
Pulled out my IPhone , checked GPS, train averaging 95 mph, not bad. Total travel time between London Waterloo train station and Salisbury was 90 minutes.

Being a spur of the moment trip and not having researched various options I decided to take a tour bus from Salisbury train station. The Tour Bus was located right outside of Salisbury Train Station or can be picked up in town. The tour I chose was 22 pounds which included Stonehenge , Old Sarum and Salisbury Cathedral.

First stop Stonehenge, 9 miles on the outskirts of Salisbury, With temperature in the 40, light mist and being wintertime there was very few people at Stonehenge. Perfect for taking in this World Heritage Site. The weather also gave the viewing a kind of mystical atmosphere, Pretty amazing to finally see the size of the stones and try and figure how they got here some 4000 years ago. Not only how they transported the stones here, but how they were cut with such precision, I mean some of the stones were so straight it was amazing when you think of the tools they had back then. Then lifting these thousand pound stones onto one another.
In all, I spent about a hour and half admiring Stonehenge, with over cast skies I was not able to try and figure the tracking of the sun and come up with my own explanation on why the stones were placed here. It was worth the trip and I can say another box is filled on places that I want to see.

Leaving Stonehenge behind the next stop was Old Sarum, located just 2 miles outside of Salisbury, this prehistoric castle dating back to 500 BC was later occupied by Romans, Saxons, Normans and then William the Conqueror. Yeah I vaguely remember studying all this in High School. Even with cloudy weather the view from Old Sarum was spectacular of Salisbury and the surrounding valley. All in all very interesting seeing the construction of ramparts and the makeup of the old castle walls. Today all that is left of the cathedral is the stone foot print.

Next I headed back to Salisbury, one of the drawbacks of traveling in England during the wintertime is that you end up running out of daylight early, with cloudy skies it seems darkness even comes faster.
Walking the streets of Salisbury one easily gets a sense of the history and oldness of the city, from old churches to the clock tower there is more than enough to keep you occupied. I was able to get several photos around Salisbury before I lost daylight.

Salisbury Cathedral, the main sightseeing point of city. It always overwhelms me when I first enter these old cathedrals, I always go back in my mind to the book “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett and how he describes in such detail how these churches were constructed.
Seeing the great Nave of the church was impressive with it’s intersecting transept, even with the low light outside the stain glass windows were fantastic and colorful.
The cathedral has this old medieval clock dating back to the 1300′s, this got my attention for several minutes, trying to figure out and watching the clock work.
The Salisbury Cathedral is home to one of four surviving original Magna Carta’s. Dating back to 1215. Even with my glasses on it was hard to believe that this piece of parchment was written with such precision almost 800 years ago with quill and ink.

Well, time to head back to London, the trip to Salisbury ,Stonehenge and Old Sarum was well worth it, as with most English towns one could easily spend a couple of days exploring today I was only lucky to get about 8 hours for this adventure.


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