I go through phases in my life where I obsessively study a subject for months and become an amateur expert on the subject.
Today, I managed to tap three of my life phases: the Round Table Period (first through third grade) the Ancient Mythology Age (fourth through sixth grade) and the Austen Era (ninth grade to present).
I reentered the Round Table Period as my audio tour guide with a crisp accent led me around Stonehenge while informing me about its history and myths. There is much debate about the transportation of these slabs of rock to their present location, but my favorite theory has Merlin flying the stones across the country because he was impatient with the workers.
And so what if the story is untrue? The romance of the story suites the stones. It doesn’t matter if anyone finds out the complete truth behind Stonehenge. It doesn’t matter if they are just a bunch of rock blocks in a circle. It’s enough to stand and look at the architecture and know that I am seeing the same thing people 3000 years ago saw.
I experienced similar feelings later in the day when I toured the Roman baths in Bath (yes there are baths in Bath). I was much too excited about the fact that I recognized the figures on the walls even before my nice audio guide told me it was the Gorgon or Minerva.
And while the water was a murky green and only ducks are able to enjoy the hot spring water, the outlines of it’s former grandeur can still be seen thousands of years later.
We had only three hours to explore Bath, but I hustled my way over to the Jane Austen Museum to fulfill another obsession of mine. There was only time enough to listen to a lecture about the author’s time in Bath and the city’s role in her books, a quick examination of the Regency exhibit and a run through the gift store which left me minus £10.
I feel like I ran a historical marathon today, running from 1000 BC to 1800 AD. And the best part about this trip is that there are still many historical marathons to run. Tomorrow is the Tower of London.
Time to add to my Tudor Phase (7th grade to present)!