I visited a site of famous rocks.
Known as one of the 400 English heritage tourist attractions, it drew queues of visitors from everywhere. Surrounded by a ring of wired mesh, there was a circular path around the rocks. They were fashioned in blocks and stodd tall and rigid. A barrier was erected around the rocks-perhaps to protect the visitors from the risk of potential toppling rocks or maybe to minimise damage to the treasure.
Yes, I was at Stonehenge on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Apr 2011. It belonged to one of the 400 UK heritage sites community and if you become a member for 36 pounds annual membership, you will be able to visit it for free!
Without shelter from the scorching sun and cold wind, I went with some expectations. Why do I say that? I was disappointed, obviously. Even without entering the site, one can take quite good pictures through the wired mesh with a fairly decent camera.
Paying 7.50pounds, I was provided with an English audio guide, detailing the assumptions and guesses of the Stonehenge origins. Nothing concrete- just beliefs and logical assumption to ‘support’ the tales. I stared at each stone closely, hoping to spot some differences(at least). There were 5 labelled positions and if you stand there, you can press on your audio guide for the explanation. Each time round, I went WTH?? The spot doesnt hold any close connections to the explanation. One could have stood anywhere and still comprehend the gist of the audio guide content. Getting more ridiculous, I wondered around the block of stones and hope that I might be able to spot a unique selling point from another angle. No. Still the same.
I gave up after taking a couple more photos and decided to sit down for a rest. At this point, I saw a herd of sheep! With my polish and italian friends next to me, we started snapping away. Waving to a sheep brings you good luck, according to spanish tradition, I was told. Wow! Finally, I felt enriched! I stood in position with my hand in a ‘waving’ pose and requested for a shot.
With photos stored, we continued our stroll around the ‘attraction’ and continued to flash our cameras from different directions. After endless shots, we wrapped up the day.
With the purchase of some postcards to commemorate the day and an ice cream settled in the stomach, I told myself – it was definitely not a wasted trip.