Local Heart, Global Soul

October 14, 2014

Moved By More Than Just Brute Force…

Filed under: ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Salisbury,South Coast,Stonehenge — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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stonehenge 2m (Small)Stonehenge is a special place, it doesn’t matter to me that at this point in time the reason it was built has been lost, or the method of it’s construction, or all the other unanswered questions that have been asked about it over the thousands of years since it’s construction.

The truth is that this is something spiritual here and it can only be felt by visiting the place in person,  It’s a feeling you get when faced with something awe inspiring, something where your brain makes the connection with the fact that these massive stones were moved not just by brute force, but because there was deep deep meaning that focused the people concerned in the effort required to make it happen.

This meaning has been lost as far as the finer detail goes, but when you visit and and stare at the handiwork of prehistoric human beings, you can sense that this was so much more than a building project. I get the same feeling when I stand in a medieval cathedral and stare up at a vaulted ceiling high above my head and also know that the centuries it took to construct, the lives and lifetimes it took to make it happen, reveal a deep sense of purpose and belief that is little evident in anything that we see today.  … and certainly don’t  see in building projects any more.

We have gone from being eternal people to being instant-human beings, and I think we are poorer for it.  Stonehenge gives me a glimpse into the eternal persons mind set, where the end result gets all the glory, there are no references here to the architects , the human beings involved are merely the means by which the end result got achieved.

Last summer, the day we visited was an eerie mixture of bright sunshine and looming dark clouds which gave Stonehenge a moody  feel, so I put the camera onto full zoom to try and capture some of the detail of these amazing stones.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’ve been walking very slowly with my sticks, the path around the stones is quite large and is set back from the stones so that visitors can not actually touch the stones or get too close to them,  (the summer and winter solstices are the only time when people can touch the stones).

We were here when the doors opened so it was quiet when we arrived, but during the time it has taken me to navigate the outside path, the bus loads have arrived  and as we join the path that leads back to the entrance tunnel, we find ourselves walking out against a tide of people walking in.

I want to get a few postcards, the shop is crammed full of people, Himself has rashly promised the kids and ice-cream but the queue around the ice-cream seller is about fifteen deep and by the time I reach the car park area my foot is getting beyond painful and I’m desperate to sit down.

I now have to make my way past the upper car park full of coaches and mini tour buses and  I’m relieved when Himself runs past me as I reach the entrance of the paddock calling out “Wait there,  I’ll bring the camper back to you“.

The kids follow dejectedly, grumbling because Himself abandoned the ice-cream queue with the promise that there will be somewhere down the road that’s less of a madhouse. As Himself eases the camper out of the main gates, the queue of vehicles coming in is a non stop stream. Further up the side road we come across a building that is to be the Stonehenge’s new visitors centre, apparently it would officially open shortly after our visit which surprised us because it looked a long way from finished.

I get some photographs of the building still under construction and we find ourselves back on the road…   We leave Stonehenge behind, but it’s a place that lets you take a little bit of it’s spirit with you when you go.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Patterns in the car park…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

October 13, 2014

The Mystery Of How, Is Even Bigger Than The Mystery Of Why…

Filed under: ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Salisbury,South Coast,Stonehenge — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following my yesterday’s post, Family Kiwidutch are visiting Stonehenge, on the Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England.

We’ve arrived early, right as the gates are opening to the public for the day and even though I’m walking very slowly on crutches we still have a decent head start on the larger groups of tourists who are yet to arrive.

Earlier we each picked up a headset, the settings of which, when coordinated with the numbered pegs set into the ground around the stones, gives historical information and theories about the possible uses and meanings and uses of Stonehenge because the site is so old and no written documentation exists to explain why or how it was built.

The recording tells me that amazingly, many of the massive stones that make up Stonehenge didn’t actually originate from around this area at all and some were hauled here from over one hundred kilometres  (62 miles) away. A mind boggling feat  considering that it took place with only prehistoric tools. Since the circle is no longer complete we can see in some of the remaining upright stones the mortise and tenon joints that allow at least  thirty of the Sarsen stones to fit solidly together.

Wikipedia tells me:   Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England, about 3 km /2 miles, west of Amesbury and 13 km / 8 miles north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Radiocarbon dating in 2008 suggested that the first stones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, whilst another theory suggests that bluestones may have been raised at the site as early as 3000 BC.

The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC.  

Thirty of the Sarsen stones were erected as a 33 metres (108 ft) diameter circle of standing stones, with a ring of 30 lintel stones resting on top.

The lintels were fitted to one another using another woodworking method, the tongue and groove joint.

Each standing stone was around 4.1 metres (13 ft) high, 2.1 metres (6 ft 11 in) wide and weighed around 25 tons.

Each had clearly been worked with the final visual effect in mind; the orthostats (large stone set upright) widen slightly towards the top in order that their perspective remains constant when viewed from the ground, while the lintel stones curve slightly to continue the circular appearance of the earlier monument. The inward-facing surfaces of the stones are smoother and more finely worked than the outer surfaces. The average thickness of the stones is 1.1 metres (3 ft 7 in) and the average distance between them is 1 metre (3 ft 3 in).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge#Stonehenge_3_II_.282600_BC_to_2400_BC.29

 

October 12, 2014

Unexpected Views Of The Stunning Stones…

Filed under: ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Salisbury,South Coast,Stonehenge — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Often in life you have  picture in your minds eye about how something will look, it’s not necessarily a mental image based on fact, but rather just an idea that you get planted into your brain for no particular reason and it sits there as “fact” until reality comes along and  either confirms your idea or blows it out of the water.

Such was the later when we took a camper-van along the English south coast last summer.

We had driven through Salisbury and then out into rural countryside and were on a busy highway when all of a sudden we rounded a corner and low and behold, there on the crest of a small rise opposite us were the world famous stones of Stonehenge themselves.

I was even able to zoom in on them as the road curved and we marvelled as the early morning light picked out details, even from far away.

I had always assumed that the world famous monument was somewhere remote, far from things like normal highways, and I also thought that if it was a historical attraction, then surely that would mean it would have some sort of barrier around it.  Yes there are fences, but no massive screens or the barriers that I had imagined.

We had deliberately set out early this morning, Stonehenge is somewhere I have always wanted to visit, but we hate still crowds so my condition of coming here was that we would be here when the gates opened in the morning because even one or two hours later, the place would be invaded by the masses.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Although you get a surprise viewing of Stonehenge from the main highway, the actual entrance to it is further up the road and off a side road, so we followed the signs and were there a short while later.

The parking attendant wanted us to park the camper right at the end of the field, but allowed us to park up right by the main gate when I mentioned that I was on crutches and that a shorter walk would be greatly appreciated.

There is an upper car parking area that’s utterly empty which we would have liked to have used, but it was explained that that’s for tour bus companies and not for private vehicles.

There is already a small crowd by the entrance patiently waiting for the gates to open and we only had to wait a few minutes before we could go in.

Once past the ticket area there are microphone packs that we can use to tell us all about the stones, and then a tunnel takes you onwards so that you leave the entrance area behind and emerge out by the stones  with no real sight of the entrance or parking area. The effect is magical, it heightens the effect of the stones, their size and imposing presence.  So far, even though I am walking slowly, there are only a few people scattered around in front of us, so we can take our time and spend time looking at this amazing piece of architecture.

There is a sign that says: “The great and ancient stone circle at Stonehenge is unique stone circle of Stonehenge is unique: an exceptional survival from a prehistoric culture now lost to us. The monument evolved between 3,000 BC and 1,600 BC and is aligned with the rising and setting of the sun at the solstices, but it exact purpose remains a mystery. To this day Stonehenge endures as a source of inspiration and fascination and, for many, a place of worship and celebration.”

The sign is right, this place is spiritual…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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