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We woke up in the countryside which was a nice change of pace after London. The bed and breakfast we stayed at had a beautiful garden and they served us a nice English breakfast. They also let us leave our backpacks there for the day.

We did not have plans. Shocking I know. We walked onto the small road and headed for center of town which was a very small walk.

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It was idyllic countryside. I loved Amesbury.

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We went into the town and found a visitor's center in the library. Very helpful and skilled women told us how to take the bus back to Salisbury and then helped us plan how to get to Stonehenge. We had planned on walking but she said the road was dangerous and that there is a 3 mile picturesque hike to avoid the road. There is also not a single bus that goes from Amesbury to Stonehenge. Amesbury is the closest town and there used to be a bus but due to lack of funding that route was cancelled. So bus from Salisbury or walk. We had until later that afternoon to decide. The nice ladies also told us that there was absolutely nothing at all to do in Amesbury. So we decided to go see what Salisbury had to offer and then decide if we train to Bath for the day (2 hour round trip) or just hang in Salisbury.

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I really really liked Salisbury. So we stayed. It was churches and shopping, swans and peacefulness plus really cool pubs and tea houses.

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And of course the Salisbury Cathedral. It wasn't even on my "list". Not only was it absolutely gorgeous and awe-inspiring but they had an original Magna Carta. One of only four original copies, it is one of the best preserved because over the years it had gotten misfiled and luckily, the person who found it realized what it was. And I got to see it!!! (no pictures allowed though)

The cathedral also has the tallest church spire in the UK and it contains the world's oldest working clock (from AD 1386). There were tons of dead people buried there; the earliest died in 1226. Such incredible history.

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And did I mention how beautiful it is? I wish we had time to go on the tower tour in which you go to the top! That would have been incredible. Next time.

We spent a lot of time in Salisbury and I'm glad. It was a nice relaxing day. Going to Bath, while probably amazing, may have stressed me out. As it was, we had no time for a three mile hike to Stonehenge either. We decided that we needed to pick up our bags so we bussed back to Amesbury and picked them up and then we decided to brave the open road. I was nervous. Kevin felt like he was on an adventure. We both agreed that somehow walking to Stonehenge meant more than taking a bus or taxi.

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The countryside was still gorgeous. As you can see in the above picture, the road is like a "T" with Stonehenge in the upper right hand side of the picture. We had to cross at two points. It turned out to not be that bad and I had worried for nothing.

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I had arranged in advance to get inner circle access to Stonehenge. You have to apply in advance and answer a ton of questions and then they give you an appointment for before or after hours. Ours was after closing-time just before the sun set. You're not supposed to touch the stones but the guide who was supposed to be policing us told us that what we do when he turns his back is all good.

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I had called ahead of time to arrange a cab to pick us and our freakin' heavy (by now...not really overall) backpacks up and take us back to Salisbury where we caught a late train back to London. I got a really good rate at a four star hotel on Trafalgar Square through Hotwire. It was awesome though I would have loved a bathtub.

This was one of my favorite days.

To see all of the pictures click...

here for Amesbury
here for Salisbury
here for Salisbury Cathedral
and here for Stonehenge

Comments

finding_bleu
Feb. 23rd, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
I didn't know you could do the private tour thingie at Stonehenge (and I've been three times!)

I like Salisbury too :)