Can I just get something off my chest?
European water is gross. Think of the most mineraly-ist water you have ever tasted and multiply it by 3, divide that number by 2, and then add it to the number 100. That is how gross it is. Every bottle I have ever purchased I have come to wince as I remove the cap off the bottle because I know it's going to be gross. Surprisingly, the tap water is more bearable.....as long as you dilute it with lemon and freeze it with ice so that it numbs your tongue, it's bearable. Still I have tried to drink at least half a gallon of water a day (Aunt Debbie you'd be proud), even though I'm sure it's going to kill me.
Today we mosy-ed out of bed later than we intended and hit up our usual spot, Mickey Dees, for our daily dose of wifi. Bella realized she had forgotten her Brit-rail pass (this is the ticket that allows you to use Britain's trains unlimitedly) so she had to go back and get it from the dorm. I used that chance to get an oyster card (a card that allows you to use the buses and underground trains [aka the tube]) as my travel card (a card that allows you to use the buses and the tubes unlimitedly) had expired. I then headed back and partook in the wonders of wifi. Bella met me there and then we headed off to Stonehenge.
I have come to realize that I enjoy traveling on the trains with Bella because it provides me with the opportunity to have "stimulating conversations" as I like to call them. Without her company, the rides would be very long and droll. Additionally, those long rides make us loopy and we create some very good inside jokes.
Anyway. So we arrive at Salisbury, exit the train, and find a guy standing pretty much right outside selling tour bus tickets and tickets to Stonehenge. We get our tickets from him and wait around for the bus. The bus that we got on was a double decker bus and we were fortunate to sit on the top level at the front. (Driving around on that bus reminded me of Disney rides, there were so many dips and sharp turns). The bus took us around the old town and pointed out some interesting details such as the cathedral tower leans about 29 inches off center, it contains one of the 4 original copies of the magna carta, etc. All this was very nice but we were here to see Stonehenge, so take me there captain.
We wind our way through beautiful fields and pastures with lambs in them and then beheld the sight of Stonehenge. I waited for some sort of enlightening moment...nothing happened.....this structure was possibly more than 4,000 years old...surely I would stand in awe or something climatic was going to occur inside of me. Still nothing. So then I willed myself to be awed. Still didn't work. I put the moment aside and told myself I was going to just enjoy seeing one of the oldest things....rocks really...on earth.
So we all clambered out of the bus, hurriedly grabbed our electronic tour guide devices and jumped in line to gather around these huge stones. It was pretty impressive. Some of these stones were some where around 55 tons....(that's about 55 cars) and the people got them there with not much more help than primitive tools and their minds. So I walked around these stones and waited still for that moment of awestruckness that I was sure I was going to feel.
However, I couldn't help but think about the whole thing in perspective and relation to what we were actually doing. These were rocks. Big rocks. Big old rocks. And we were all standing around looking at rocks. And these rocks had a little roped off gate around it, so you couldn't go up and touch or look closely at the rocks. I was looking at big old rocks that were stacked and were roped off. Never mind the fact there were birds on the rocks pooping on it and making their nests in it, I couldn't, despite spending my 15£, couldn't go up and touch the rocks.
It was all sort of anticlimactic. I think Bella felt the same way, but I could be wrong. It was nice to see what humans can do when they put their minds to it and it was nice to have my picture taken next to an iconic thing, but I walked away feeling slightly unsatisfied.
The tour bus took us back through the pastures and through the city, both of which me and Bella enjoyed thoroughly. We tried to scout out restaurant but that is hard to do on a Sunday, a lot of restaurants aren't open on Sunday's over here. We ate some food at this restaurant called A.S.K. and talked about secret emails. After we had worn out the subject we left to walk back to the train station to catch our train.
On the way back we saw a lovely river with swans in them and watched them swim around. It was very peaceful. We turned to start our trek back when suddenly a flock of birds started to all fly away. We heard a loud bang on a store glass window next to us, startled, we looked to see what it was. A pigeon ran right into the window glass and was lying on the brick ground. We both paused for a moment not sure what to do. The pigeon seemed to have the wind knocked out of him and was breathing heavily. I told Bella this and she started to laugh at my comment. She told me something to the effect that he wasn't looking so good. I insisted he was fine until he started moving strangely. I realized that we were witnessing the pigeons last moments here on this planet. Bella and I watched as he closed his eyes and took his last breath. Bella thought we should leave; I thought we should bury it. But as I had no shovel handy and I didn't know where he'd been we left him there by the store, with his feather imprints still in the window. It was a strange phenomenon, but we chalked it up to the store window must have been cleaned with windex, just like the commercial.
We made it back to the station and feel asleep on the train ride back to London after another "stimulating conversation". Bella will be leaving tomorrow to stay with her sister and I will be sitting in Uxbridge's library writing my 15 page paper before we reconvene this Friday to fly to Italy.
Provided I survive writing my paper, it should be an exciting, action packed weekend ahead of me. Of course, providing I survive writing my paper.