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The traveler: An expected journey This time it's the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden & Norway before England again for several weeks and on to Croatia.

Stone and wheat: Avebury

UNITED KINGDOM | Friday, 4 September 2015 | Views [168]

I'm afraid if I do not learn to summarize better you will be forever a week behind me! Yesterday I bid farewell to Great Britain as I headed to Germany, so I hope I can fill you in before I begin much of my journey here.
It was still raining steadily when I arrived in Cherhill, an easy 15 minute bus ride from Avebury. For probably 30 minutes I wondered up and down the road in the rain looking for the right place. Most houses here, apart from larger areas, are named, rather like boats, and sometimes without a house number to accompany them. I had been given only the name of where I was to stay, and it did not seem to exist. In the end I found the place with the help of a large family of college age children who insisted I come in while they tried to figure out where the house was that I was looking for.
The next morning was grey, but without rain. However it wasn't long before my rain pants were out of my bag again as I walked along a road to the top of Hackpen Hill, where a crop circle had been reported in mid summer. Walking past harvested fields, I thought my outing might be in vain. Thankfully someone had posted a sign at the top of the road pointing down the foot path to the crop circle. The afternoon seemed to be working in my favor; by then the rain had abated too. Between the wet morning and the fact it was the middle of the week I had the entire field to myself as I wondered along the labyrinthine paths. The smoothly layered wheat appeared rather like water flowing over a series of low rocks with the wheat heads being the spilling water. My photos might show the details up close, but to really get the idea of the crop circle look for the July 25th crop circle at: http://www.cropcircleaccess.com/latest-crop-circle-reports/
Back in Avebury I started for a walk along the stone causeway away from the circles. Beside it lay another field (what a surprise). No one else seemed to pay it much attention, and yet the wheat seemed to be swept aside in pattern here as well. There's really no knowing unless you're in the air though if it's more than just storm damage.
The problem with buses is that you must configure your entire day around their schedule, and unfortunately the last one of the day always left Avebury a bit earlier than I would've liked. Thankfully I had given myself another day to return though.
After repeating my stops from the day before I enquired about the possibility of walking to Silbury Hill, something I'd been wanting to do whether or not there was a path. Luckily there was indeed a path directly around the hill, and only a 30 minute walk from the stone circles of Avebury. The museum staff were also thoughtful enough to tell me that just 10 minutes beyond Silbury Hill was West Kennet Long Borrow, which was actually open for exploration! Off I went with the nagging information that I only had less than 2 hours until the last bus of the day. I lingered a bit to admire Silbury Hill and then made the world's quickest walk, without actually running, up to West Kennet Long Borrow.
Rather to my disappointment it was substantially more popular than the crop circle. The half circle of giant rock slabs on the outside appeared to completely block the entrance, but from the side there was a path to walk behind. It took a few moments for my eyes to become accustomed to the dim light inside. From the outside it would've seemed that the long borrow should be deeper inside. There were just 2 smaller nooks on either side, and a larger space at the end. The walls and ceilling were made of large slabs of rock as well as small, neatly layered stones, all damp with beads of water. It would've been so still and quiet, but for the kids going in and out. Before long though I too left, and thankfully still had time to wait for the bus in Avebury.


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