DAY 3: The Myth and Magic of Glastonbury
Another day, another blown fuse! Again, courtesy of the hair dryer! Josh and I just shake our heads at this point as we evolved beyond the need for hair dryers. Fortunately, Stacey and Stephanie have decided to not use it for the remainder of the trip. Fuses everywhere breathe a sigh of relief!
We began the day by going to a Sainsbury to get some lunch for a picnic. I was in a pissy mood because I didn’t sleep well because of a ruckus outside. One of the loud people’s name was Gary because I heard that name shouted a minimum of 7 times by some girl saying “Gar-Ray!!!! (Followed by laughter)”…I didn’t like Gary, whoever he was. But the good news is that I fell asleep in the car and woke up happier. I’m more or less a toddler with my “lack of sleep” mood swings.
On the way to Avebury, we saw one of the famous giant chalk horses carved into the side of a hill, I didn’t get to snap a picture but it was cool on the count of it being over 2000 years old! We made our way to the Avebury stones, which pre-date Stonehenge by 600 years! The also cover a larger area than Stonehenge, however many of the stones were removed to build other things. I think they thought the stones came from a god-less, more Satan-y time and didn’t care about tearing them down. They’d probably care now because had the stones not been torn down, it may have beat Stonehenge out in popularity. While exploring the stones, I befriended a brown and white cow….the black and white ones didn’t like me too much, but brown and white cow was a socialite and happily ate the grass that I offered him.
My first “British Friend”
We had our lunches and tea in the courtyard. In addition to our Sainsbury food, I also indulged myself with some Revels, which is rapidly becoming my favorite British candy. It’s like Whoppers, but with different flavors/fillings like caramel, raisin, malt, toffee, and so on…pretty tasty! Again, our gold card got some comments, since it’s a new card it’s really reflective and people are amazed by it for some unknown reason over here. In the trees above us, we can hear the pigeons singing a jaunty tune which I dubbed “Hooty-Hoot-Hoot” it’s more or less the number 1 hit of the treetops in the U.K. I amused myself at this notion :
My Doodles are progressively becoming sillier
Next, we made our way to Glastonbury to visit the ruins of the Glastonbury Abbey, which is said to be the final resting place of King Arthur and Guinevere. The Abbey itself was destroyed by King Henry VIII when he dissolved all Abbeys. The 80 year old Abbot was found guilty of treason since he had money and Henry didn’t, so they had him hung, dragged and quartered. I learned all this from a historic re-enactor who was confused about me saying that I flew to England and told me I wasn’t allowed to wear red since I was poor. She didn’t get my jokes either and made me feel awkward…she seemed cooler when we posed for a photo with them earlier, but now its awkward city. On the grounds, there was also a tent where I could pay 2 pounds and hold a bird of prey of my choice. I really regret not doing it because holding a falcon or owl would have been an awesome profile picture on Facebook.
After the Abbey, we went to the Chalice Well, which is said to hold the Holy Grail but it cost 5 pounds to enter and it really looked like a pond and since there are 7 other places on this planet that claim to be where the Holy Grail is located, we decided to pass on it. Honestly, I doubt this is where the Holy Grail is. Furthermore, I doubt they found King Arthur, especially since it’s doubtful that he ever existed in the first place. Also, there was something in the pamphlet about an Abbot sticking his walking staff into the ground and it formed into a thorn tree….so, I am having a really hard time believing anything I see or hear in Glastonbury. It sounds like a bunch of habitual liars founded the place and kept adding things to make it sound cooler. None-the-less, the Abbey was awesome and I’m really sad that it got destroyed because it would have been amazing based on how far the ruins go back both in age and size.
“This is what happens if you kept money away from the king..”
In town there were tons of Wiccans and New Age type people, probably due to King Arthur’s buddy Merlin…but it seemed very hippie-like to me. There were some people taking money for something and one guy greeted me by saying what I thought was “Hello there handsome!”, but he in fact, said “could I borrow you for a moment handsome?” Either way, I took the compliment, even though he was a guy and probably was just saying that to get me to donate….or as I like to think of it; he knew a handsome man when he saw one!! I also think my reaction embarrassed him slightly because I made him feel like he was hitting on me.
After Glastonbury, we made our way to the beautiful Wells Cathedral. It’s hard to think of how old it is, especially when it’s still a breath-taking sight by today’s standards. We got to tour the inside a bit and it was really neat to walk through. A favorite part of mine was a clock that had horse riders joust each other on the hour; every hour. We made it too late to tour the Bishop’s house, but it looked like a small castle, complete with a moat. I later found a tile art piece talking about how in the 13th century, the Bishop slayed a dragon!! Although there were no historical facts to back this up, it’s probably how he came to acquire that bad-ass house. So 3 days in and we found our first dragon reference or King Arthur story! One thing I wouldn’t realize until after our trip, is that this is where the brilliantly funny movie Hot Fuzz was filmed. Had I known this at the time, I would have toured the town a bit more.
We made our way back to Bath and spent some time deciding on dinner. I was told to pick, but I said that I didn’t have an opinion. Stacey and Josh decided on a Chinese restaurant, but I rejected the idea because I didn’t want Chinese food, so I guess I *DID* have an opinion, despite my earlier claim. We decided on Jamie’s Italian, which was a restaurant owned by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, whom Stacey or Stephanie never heard of (I hung my head in disappointment.) For dinner, Stacey had a prawn linguine, I had buffalo mozzarella ravioli (which despite the name had no buffalo meat), Josh had wild mushroom risotto, and Stephanie had a roasted bone marrow risotto. For a side item, Stacey had bruchetta and I had some funky chips (funky indeed…but amazingly good.)
After dinner, the girls and boys split up. They went to the YMCA and Josh and I went to a pub called “The Old Green Tree.” We had 2 rounds and talked about how much it blows that America doesn’t really do the whole “pub thing”. Instead, we have loud and bright sports bars complete with people crowding the bar to the point where you can’t order a drink, and the only way you can have a conversation is if you yell at the top of your lungs to the person sitting less than a foot in front of you or playing “pass it down.” Pubs on the other hand are quiet, inviting, and you see different classes of people visiting one another. Also, pubs are more dog-friendly, which is cool. So going to a bar after I leave this country is going to end in disappointment, since I’ll be longing for the pubs I’ve been visiting. The restrooms at this pub were kind of dangerous as they opened immediately to a surprise stairway going down to where the toilets are…not good for someone that might be drunk, since it’s at least 15 steps down to the toilets. We called it a night and headed back to the YMCA where we checked our emails and settled into our rooms. I played my MP3 player and read a little of the 2nd Hunger Games book as I settled down to sleep.
Once again, I couldn’t help but snicker at the claims to fame that Glastonbury had. The King Arthur grave, the Holy Grail, the staff that turned into a thorn tree and I also read something inside the Abbey ruins that a teenage Jesus Christ came to the town…I know there were the lost years of Christ and we don’t know much about what happened between his birth and when he became a 30 year old man gaining followers, but I sorta doubt that he made it to Glastonbury, England. Call me skeptical, but I have my doubts!
Tomorrow we’ll head into the lake district of England!