Friday, 5 June 2009

Spires and stones

Had a day off today, and took a trip down to Salisbury, where I haven't been for many years. Of course, these fine old English county towns don't change, and their beautiful cathedrals certainly don't! And then, to add to the beautiful building and weather today, there was a choir inside the cathedral practising Mozart's Requiem for a concert. The Requiem would be among my Desert Island Discs, and I had to sit and wait for them to sing one of my favourite parts, the Lacrymosa. Stunning. If you're not familiar with it, have a listen here. After lunch in the Cathedral Refectory and a wander, we set off for Stonehenge, which, amazingly, I've never visited before. Suddenly, there it was on the horizon, looking mysterious and impressive. We parked and made our way through the tunnel to the site and, well, actually, if I'm honest, I was a bit disappointed. The traffic on the A303 is horrendous, and I can see why there have been several plans for improvements, including burying the road in a tunnel. The visitor is, understandably, kept a good distance from the stones, which seemed a little smaller than I had imagined. You know, I think I prefer Stonehenge's rival Callanish on the island of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. Close up, I just didn't feel much at Stonehenge. If you're down that way, my suggestion is to drive on by, catching a much more atmospheric and tantalizing glimpse...

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