I know I’ve mentioned previously how I have a hobby of shopping for plane tickets I don’t need, letting it get pretty far, then backing out at the last second. This story is not one of those times. I was researching prices for plane tickets that I actually do need (or “need,” I guess; a trip to Harry Potter Land with my cousin for our joint 30th birthdays) when the Internet informed me there were $500 round trip fares to London for the following month. I looked up from my laptop and asked my mom, “do you want to go to London next month for $500?” She glanced at the wall calendar and said, “sure.” So I booked it, and we went.
It was a week of museums, concerts, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, constantly refilling my Oyster card, and, yes, the occasional Harry Potter-themed detour. The one sightseeing day we had planned was a trip to Stonehenge at the end of the week. I was ready at that point for the lazy tourist experience, to be driven around and told what I was looking at and only have to make very small decisions within a set window of free time.
It was grey when the bus left London, and started to rain a few minutes later. It poured steadily for the entire two hour drive, and only fell harder the closer we got. When we got to the visitors’ center, our guide said “well, we’re here, but I must warn you it’s completely exposed up there,” and told us when to meet back at the bus. But when the shuttle trundled up to let us out at the stones, the rain stopped, the wind moved in, and the clouds began to break into low zooming clumps. As we stepped onto the path that went around the perimeter of the stones, the sun broke through, and a German man next to me sighed “ah, Stonehenge mit blau Himmel!” and adjusted his camera accordingly.
Stonehenge features posts and lintels, which my mind wants to classify as door or door-adjacent, but since there is no written record of what the circle was for, I can’t confidently include it in my hypothetical door exhibit. This will never not bother me.
Image: Stonehenge with blue skies, England, UK, 2017.