The morning my group went to visit Stone Henge, it rained and stormed more than it had the entire 2 weeks we’d been there. Up until then the weather had been wonderful considering it was late December/early January. It was surprisingly sunny and always wavering from low 40’s to high 50’s. It was perfect for walking about and enjoying the sights until that morning and this was the only day we experienced terrible weather conditions.
We first visited what I refer to as the “knock-off Stone Henge.” The real name is Avebury. The history is interesting if you ever want to research it, but that day I just did not care. Maybe it was because I wanted to see the real Stone Henge or maybe because I was getting hailed on. Either way, we didn’t stay long. The place looked abandoned that morning, there was mud everywhere, and by the time we got back on the bus we were all soaking wet.
The rain only stopped briefly at Stone Henge, but the wind was awful. Luckily there was transportation that took you up to the sight and back down to the gift shop/museum. Before we arrived, our professor was saying how we would have to make the hike up there (I still don’t know if she was joking or not) and it was at that point I debated if seeing Stone Henge was worth bearing the cold wind and mud up to my ankles.
Even if I had to hike, it was definitely worth it. I would have been so angry with myself if I didn’t see it. It’s smaller in person and not exactly this wonder I had set in my mind, but I couldn’t look away from it. Maybe all the mysteries regarding this strange circle aren’t as mystic as TV shows, films, and music videos would make you believe, but it’s still a scrap of history that’s managed to keep our culture’s attention for centuries.
I loved the museum and seeing who these people might have been and how they might have lived. There was a video that played on a loop in the middle of the exhibit which showed Stone Henge throughout the years. It was honestly the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen given there was no music only nature sounds and it speeds by so the people appear as shadows lurking from behind the pillars. Yet I watched it loop a few times because, again, I couldn’t look away.
I think Stone Henge has stayed with us because it’s so odd and yet so simple. It’s perfect for constructing myths and legends around it and that’s why people face the rain and the wind and the hail and their own exhaustion just to catch a glimpse of it. It’s filled with stories, some true and some not. We can create our own identity for it and that makes it stand out from all the ordinary sights we’re surrounded with everyday. It’s something to think about and to be inspired by.
So is it worth a hike in the rain? Yes, I would say it is.