We worked our route for the day across the Salisbury Planes (which is basically a giant military base with 'caution tanks crossing' signs dotting the landscape) and down past Stonehenge. Cycling along, we could see the stones several kilometers off. We had decided in advance that we wouldn't be stopping and doing the tourist thing, but wanted to see them anyways. It's good we didn't as the place was packed and rain was on the way. But still it was interesting to see these mammoth stones in person. It's very frustrating as they haven't determined exactly what this site was for. Why would a group of people go to so much effort? They cut the stones and moved them from just 20 miles away, but smaller blue stones were brought from the Preseli Mountains over 200 miles away. Considered the world's most sophisticated stone circle it is impressive to behold.
Also impressive was a site further north in Avebury. The whole town is considered a
National Heritage site at the town sprung up in a circle much much larger than Stonehenge. There are also several other sites of significant rocks and circles surrounding the town. A very active place! So odd to be cycling along and see these mammoth stones erupting along the side of the road. Easily twice as tall as a person and would take maybe 3 people holding hands to span around the firth. All through the town the peaked at us. Even several kilometers out of town we could still see the odd one poking out of the landscape. Even the land all around has been changed as people once dug around trying to pronounce the height of the circle! This site is much more fun than Stonehenge as you can go right up and touch the stones.
As we headed further and further south we noticed that the rock in the landscape changed as well. Flint is not visible everywhere and we must guard our tires from it. Also, chalk is becoming more and more evident. Riverbeds are coated in it in Salisbury, the coastline on the south has great white cliffs, and the famous 'needles' on the Isle of Wight can be seen from Barton on Sea.
Upon arrival in the town, we were greeted with a warm welcome from David and Deb. David
we met a few days ago at a campsite when he was on his cycle tour. We had hit it off immediately and enjoyed the company of both him and his wife for our last few days in England.
Thought that I'd gotten this all out of my system in Ireland, but apparently not. England has some notable stones as well. The most notable being Stonehenge.