On Saturday morning we woke up (very) early to take the students on their first excursion outside of the city to Stonehenge and Bath via a guided tour bus. It was pretty cute because Nadia was very nervous about taking the students on our own, hence the early morning wake up call at 5:30 a.m. 🙂
It is incredible how many people were up at 6:30 on a Saturday riding the bus and train. I guess everyone was trying to get somewhere before the crazy London rush!! Once we make it to Victoria Station, we had about an eight-minute walk to the bus terminal. Despite how angry I was for waking up early I’m now glad we had the extra time. (You were right Nadia!)
I have been in about five different bus stations around the world and it amazes me that they are all the same – crowded, chaotic, and stressful. Thank god for kind people and good signage because we found our gate with minimal problems. Once we settled in all we had to do was wait for the students to show up. The first two to arrive were the twins, who continue to tell us they feel like they are on The Amazing Race, London edition. It’s a cute little joke we have and I keep telling them that they are winning! Shortly after that the rest of the students arrived, we boarded the bus, and then we were off!
Nadia’s boss Heidi booked the whole group via Groupon UK on Premium Tours. Groupon is an excellent way to get cheap tours in London. I highly recommend it if you plan on visiting. (Hint, hint!) Anyways, we had a lovely tour guide named Shirley who told us A LOT of information about London, Stonehenge, and Bath. First stop, Stonehenge.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, about 2 hours west of London, 2 miles west of Amesbury and 8 miles north of Salisbury. It is operated by a group called English Heritage, who are working to preserve over 400 historic sites in England. Nadia has been here before and told me a little bit about her experience, but she really wanted me to have my own opinions. As we drove up, I couldn’t help but snap a picture because it really is in the middle of farmland:
Once we arrived we were corralled to pick up our tickets and audio tour guides.
A few people have asked me I felt the energy there, and I have to be honest – I did not. However, there was a man meditating at the site, and I felt his energy. I thought it was really cool that he believed in it, and of course I had to take a picture. After seeing him it changed my mind a little and I tried to think about it from a different perspective. I was mostly in awe of the how it got there, and then a little weirded out because of that. It sort of felt eerie, like we shouldn’t be there at all. I tried to push those feelings aside as we moved on and take in the beauty of where we were. At that point I just concentrated on taking pictures. Nadia even tried to get a picture of me jumping, but our camera’s shutter is very slow and we only got a few shots of me laughing. It was a great experience and I am really glad I can check it off my list. I will say that even though I did my research before we got there, I still don’t feel as though I understand anymore about Stonehenge. It really is one of the world’s greatest mysteries.
After our walk around the site, we hopped back on the bus and headed a mere two and half-hours down the road to Bath. I was very excited about going to Bath. Nadia had been here before during her graduate study abroad and she raved about how cool the how city was and it did not disappoint. We saw almost everything there was to see: insert everything we saw. The only thing we didn’t get to go inside was the Roman Baths, because of the long lines. We did however visit the The Roman Baths Kitchen to enjoy some great local beers and indulge in an amazing cheese plate. We had a blast people watching, listening to music, eating, and drinking. It was a very vacation like thing for us to do and it was so much fun! It helped me remember how lucky I feel to have met Nadia and share this experience with her. I look forward to many more moments like this!