Today was the 5th day of riding in a row, I managed to ride for an additional 91 kilometers making the total goes up to 524km. I am still in good shape but will be happy to enjoy one or two days of rest 😉
This part of the journey made me pass next to Stonehenge, one of the most instantly recognizable sites on your journey, here is some interesting facts about it.
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Stonehenge was actually constructed in several stages, the first around 5000 years ago. The earliest part of the monument itself was connected with burial of the dead, as evidence of cremation has been found around the Sarsen stones. However, although not part of the monument itself, there is evidence of an even older site of ritual significance nearby – four or five pine posts had been erected in an East-West alignment and left to rot; these are a staggering 10,000 or so years old.
No one knows what Stonehenge was for; it was probably equal parts ritual site, shrine, and burial ground. Since a significant number of burials either suffered deformity or injury, it probably also served as a place of healing. They also travelled a long way to get here – scientific analysis of remains indicates origins in France, Germany, and even the Southern Mediterranean. It would appear that Stonehenge’s worldwide fame is nothing new.
There’s also evidence of wooden structures being part of Stonehenge throughout the 2000 or so years that construction and possibly even change of use continued – what is perhaps most remarkable is the great distances the stones were brought to the site from; the Marlborough Downs forty or so kilometres to the north is far enough away, but the famous bluestones could only have come from the Preseli Hills in Wales; six times the distance from Stonehenge.
Oh and before I forget, the next exciting part of the journey will be Oxford where I have a good friend who lives close by. This looks like a very opportunity to pay him a virtual visit, stay tuned!