Yeah, we got a private tour of Stonehenge.
In one of the more unusual excursions of the program, our class got up on the crack of dawn and made our way to the brand-new Stonehenge museum, where we would receive an inner-circle access tour of the famous monument.
For thirty minutes we were allowed to step over the ropes and walk around the stones before the area opened up to tourists. A tour guide joined us to provide details on the order of construction of Stonehenge’s rings and creatively used a popup book to demonstrate what the completed structure looked like.
The issue with visiting Stonehenge is that I felt we gained relatively little information from actually being on site. Here, its fame does it an injustice — all of the mysteries and trivia regarding the circle are well-known. While seeing the stones is fascinating and awe-inspiring, the act of visiting them is not really a learning experience in the way that going to a lesser-known museum might be.
That being said, the trip was still worth it, if only for being the greatest photo-op of the summer. Our professor seemed to realize how much we enjoyed walking among the stones, as she always keeps Stonehenge in the syllabus even though it is the one event that has little to do with the course material. I think all of the students knew, at some level, that that quiet morning among the stones was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Stay tuned for more as I complete the chronicle of my adventure in the UK.