Hi everyone, I hope you are all having a great week! Welcome back to my 10th blog post – in this article I’ll be talking about my weekend trips to Stonehenge, Salisbury, and my reservation at the Sky Garden observatory.
On Friday, NYU London took us on a coach bus tour to Stonehenge and Salisbury. I was especially excited to see Stonehenge since it is such a famous tourist attraction and the site has a lot of rich historical significance. What visitors see today are the substantial remnants of the last in a sequence of such monuments erected between circa 3000 BC and 1600 BC. Each monument was a circular structure, aligned with the rising of the sun at the midsummer solstice. There has always been intense debate over quite what purpose Stonehenge served. A huge effort and great organization was needed to carry the stones tens, and sometimes hundreds, of miles by land and water and then to shape and raise them. Stonehenge’s orientation in relation to the rising and setting sun has always been one of its most remarkable features. Whether this was because its builders came from a sun-worshiping culture or because the circle and its banks were part of a huge astronomical calendar, remains a mystery.
After visiting the Stonehenge heritage site, the NYU coach took us to Salisbury – just a 30 minute drive away. As soon as we were dropped off, my friends and I went to grab some lunch at a local restaurant, where I got a delicious avocado feta salad bowl. After eating and having some free time to explore the quaint, bustling market town, we were given a free tour of Salisbury Cathedral. Built in an incredibly short 45 years, the Cathedral remains one of the finest examples of English Gothic architecture. Outside of the magnificence of the Cathedral itself most visitors come to see one of the few surviving originals of the Magna Carta. Signed in 1215, this document is seen as the cornerstone of British liberty and the chief defense against arbitrary and unjust rule and, as such the basis of English Common Law. Once we were finished with the tour, we made our way back to London.
On Sunday, my friend and I visited the Sky Garden – London’s highest public garden! We booked our tickets for 6:30pm, so we could admire the night lights of central London and see the fireworks in the distance (that day it was Guy Fawkes/Bonfire Night – an annual commemoration observed in Great Britain involving bonfires and firework displays). The view was breathtaking, as we could see all the major attractions of the London skyline, including the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and the Shard! I highly recommend this observation deck to anyone visiting London, not only because of the amazing views, but also because it was 100% free!
Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to read my 10th blog post! Be on the lookout for my blog next week! :)