Yesterday Jen and Bree and I hopped on a tour bus that took us first to Bath and then on to Stonehenge. Bree and I have been to Bath before and Jen was keen for a break from sightseeing so we had planned in advance to ditch the touristy stuff and head over to the Thermae Spa instead. We booked ourselves in for a two hour session... mmmm.... We enjoyed the roof-top pool, from which you can look out over the city. It (and all the pools) are filled with naturally heated spring water which has quite a nice smell (when treated) and is very soft to bathe in. After floating around and looking at the city and the countryside beyond, we headed down to the four aromatherapy steam rooms. Two of them were really very hot and I could only stay in for a few minutes. We also filled the foot baths with bubbling water and had hot and cold showers there. Then, finally, we went down to the indoor pool with "lazy river", which was as advertised. Using our pool noodles for floatation we loafed about in the water, drifting around in loops to our hearts' content. Jen got out and fell asleep on a lounger for a while; Bree and I remained submerged up to our necks in the pool.
After a quick change we stopped back at the Roman Baths Pump Room for tea and scones with clotted cream and jam. Yumm. (I am planning to have a tea and scones party to celebrate becoming a British citizen, when it eventually happens.) It was all very posh, with a pianist playing in the background. The service was mediocre, though, as can be common in England. Ah, well. The tea was lovely and the clotted cream was gorgeous.
Back on the coach, we took a really nice journey through some beautiful countryside. Jen and Bree slept while I was looking around at all the rolling hills and trees overhanging the road. I saw a white horse carved in the side of a cliff, a sight that can be seen all over Wiltshire. Stonehenge is just on the side of a road on Salisbury Plain.
The circular ditch around Stonehenge dates from 3050 BC and there was a wooden structure here in about 2600 BC. The stones were arranged between 2500 BC and 1500 BC.
The stones are huge! some of them are from a nearby area (about 30 km) but others are from a part of Wales that is almost 400 km away. It is amazing that they were brought here. Our tour guide said that a group of volunteers tried to pull a stone from the Preseli Mountains in Wales to Stonehenge in a recreation of the building of Stonehenge, but it ended in disaster. They pulled the stone with great difficulty over land and then loaded it onto a prehistoric replica boat, which then sank. (Find some other theories about Stonehenge here.)
It seems to me that archaeologists may never understand exactly how and why Stonehenge was built.
The coach took us back to the city, where we concluded our girls' day out with dinner at Yo! Sushi. I am still relatively new to sushi (and Ant doesn't like it) so I was glad that Bree was there guiding us. It was exciting to watch all the dishes travelling around on the conveyor belt. The different coloured rings around the dishes indicate how much they cost. You get to take and eat anything you want and then afterwards they just look at the empty plates to see how much you need to pay.
We ordered miso soup (which is refillable at Yo! Sushi) and took eight dishes off the conveyor belt as well. We took two dishes like this and I got to taste the tuna and salmon sashimi, both of which were really nice with soy sauce. All three of us were full at the end and very satisfied. What a great day. It was relaxing, mentally stimulating, beautiful, friend-filled, and delicious.