The Ruffled Crow

Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things

Setting Stakes in Salisbury

We arrived here in Salisbury in early afternoon and the first thing we noted as we walked from the train station down to our hotel was that it looked like every smaller English town we’d seen on tv. Attached row houses, and fewer people too. Especially fewer people. We could breathe again.

The yard behind St Thomas’s

There are a lot of older folks here and it appears that the town is asking especially for retirees to move here. The town is also very attuned to tourism with a High Street and spurs leading off in every direction lined with shops and pubs.

I can’t say that is a bad thing, Salisbury is a beautiful city full of quite old buildings with a canal running through it with swans, ducks (a mother with three chicks too), fish, and…well…rats. Not the huge Norways, they are pretty small and sleek, but we’ve already seen two or three in the few hours we’ve been here – one of them swimming in the canal. This place isn’t dirty, by any means, but with all the restaurants and such, any city would have ’em.

The countryside along our trip up to Stonehenge

That said, the canal is chock full of water plants which well support the birds, fish (both as food and places to hide from the birds or larger fish), and even for the rats.

A note about Salisbury and it’s architecture; we’re staying about a half block away from a 13th century cathedral and are just across the canal from a 14th century clock – this place is Old.

An interesting aside about that – during WW2 many English cities had the holy bejeezus bombed out of them by the Luftwaffe but Salisbury was left untouched (ergo the old structures still standing). When asked about it after the war, the pilots said that they were using Salisbury Cathedral as a landmark for their attacks elsewhere.

The old stones themselves

Anyways, as we breezed into town in the early afternoon we had plenty of time to make the trip up to Stonehenge. Tour buses leave regularly from the train station and new canal street and the ride to Stonehenge only takes about a half hour. Hell, we waited longer in the queue to get to the shutttle bus to the stones themselves than the bus ride there took.

But wow was it worth it! Yes, they are a bunch of prehistoric (circa 2500 bce) rocks in a vague circle with a bunch of pits and mounds around them and many of them have had to be propped back up and reinforced with concrete. So what, eh?

Well just stand near them for a bit. It didn’t take long for the feeling of time to seep into Mrs Crow and I. Thick, long, heavy, full time. Lifetimes of people that had counted their years by the rising of the summer soltice sun aligning with the heel stone. Even with the tourists and school groups swirling around us, that sense of age seeped under our skins.

Tomorrow we’re off to visit another world entirely.

Observations from day seven: Toilets have two buttons, a light flush and a heavy one.

There arre no exits, but there are ways out.

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