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Avebury
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Avebury, England

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June 9-10

The flight on British Airlines was turbulent, but the flight crew, which was mostly male, were smiling and helpful. Dinner was the best Iíve ever had on an airplane. I chose the chicken, which included dressing, green beans, a roll, salad which had several greens I didnít recognize, black-bottom pie, and a Cadbury chocolate. We managed a few hours of sleep before a refreshing vegetarian breakfast of yogurt, pumpkin bread, fruit salad, and juice. We arrived on time, but had a little wait to get our rental car.

Four oíclock found us hitting the road. British roads are pretty confusing. It appears that whenever they add a road or an intersection, they simply tack it on to the existing one, rather than reorganizing and rebuilding. They love circles, which can go to the left or the right, and they have added traffic lights to them for more excitement. That is in addition to driving on the wrong (left) side of the road. Life is never dull for the British! George picked up driving on the left pretty well.  I hope we didnít scare them too badly.

           

Silbury Hill, just east of Avebury, in Wiltshire, is a man-made hill with dirt over tiers of placed rocks.  No purpose has yet been discovered for it.  The GPS, global positioning system (WGS84), reading for the viewing area on highway A4 is: 51:25,00N 001:51,40W.

Our first main stop was at Avebury, where a small village sits in the center of a stone circle. That is surrounded by a deep ditch and embankment. We had just checked in to our hotel for the night when we discovered we would be locked in till eight in the morning. We had planned on being out making pictures at dawn. They kindly suggested we go next door, where another innkeeper would let us out so early.

                                    

 

                             
cat on a fencepost                                                          our hotel overlooking the stones

We went out to wander around in the fields of standing stones and sheep. It was windy and downright cold. We heard the church bells start ringing, and wondered why the same few notes were being played over and over again. An hour later they were still playing, so we went out to investigate. We located the old church and stepped inside. It was fairly small, and we could hear people chatting in the tower during a break in the bell playing. We didnít want to disturb them, so we went out in the churchyard and browsed around in the tombstones.

                   
details of Celtic art from an ancient stone baptismal font

It was still light at nine when we finally turned in. We woke up at four in the morning when it seemed almost dawn. I suspect it is light most of the night this far north, at least in June, but Iím not staying up to find out.