OMG, I am… almost finished. So now I’m going to be experiencing the sad end of a wonderful trip all over again. I’ve got one more entry after this one, the journey home/wrap up one. And that is IT. Finally. (lol, I started this entry DAYS ago. I’ve been spoiled at work for weeks by having basically nothing at all to do except write travelogue entries…but this week we are clearing the May graduates. And we have a deadline. And I have been frantically working non-stop and am still behind. And for some reason I have problems posting with my iPad, although saying this, I realize I probably just need to try a different browser. I can’t scroll down past the first pictures. Now it’s Friday night and I’ve taken Baker B’s desktop as he’s gone to bed. I am determined to finish it all this weekend.)
Unlike most of these all-over-the-place-in-time entries, this second trip to Avebury actually was on our last day in England. May 12, 2017. It has been confusing going back and forth in time. Next trip I’m going to write it up quickly when I get back so that it is chronological and makes sense. At this point I’ve forgotten so many of the fascinating details, like, what was that town we drove through trying to find a Starbucks because Kim’s DeathWishGoogleMaps SAID there was a Starbucks, but despite driving all over town repeatedly in a desperate search for coffee, we failed to find it and ended up with gas station vending machine Costa???? (We were constantly on the hunt for real coffee). I want to say it was Trowbridge. It might have been Warminster. I don’t remember!!! And was it Shepton Mallett where we repeatedly took the totally wrong turn (again, thank you GoogleMapsWhoHatedUs!!), driving through this gorgeous little village with tall old gold-stone buildings right on the edge of the street, then realizing ages later we had YET AGAIN missed the road and were totally lost?? I don’t know!!!!
SIGH. Well, the last day in Avebury was lovely. A teeny bit drizzly but very atmospheric. We walked all around the little village, and walked around the stones amongst the sheep, and took another gazillion pictures.
Sheepers!!! They were a little bit muddy. Well, these weren’t so bad but there were some very very muddy sheep in Avebury. Mud, and.. other things. On their spindly little legs.
These trees have the most amazing root system ever.
This gorgeous yellow plant is rapeseed, aka canola in North America. It is everywhere in this part of England.
The road into the village:
We also walked down Kennet Avenue, which is a long row of parallel stones that run between Avebury and The Sanctuary , yet another prehistoric site. Wiltshire is FULL of mysterious prehistoric sites. There were around 100 pairs of standing stones lining the avenue originally, although there aren’t nearly that many now.
Back to Avebury proper:
And the Red Lion, reportedly one of the most haunted pubs in England! And it’s the only pub in the world located inside a ring of standing stones. The building dates back to the early 1600s, and it’s been an inn/pub since 1802. According to their Facebook page, the most discussed topics are: very poor service, fish and chips, and hearty meal. As I mentioned in my last entry, when we went in 2013 we did not find the food to be at all appealing, although the beer was wonderful, especially the Well Water, which was a local beer that does not appear to be on the menu now. And on this trip, sadly they were having problems with the taps so we didn’t get to have any Well Water. In 2013 that was pretty much all we had since the food wasn’t very good. This time Kim and I split an appetizer platter meant for sharing, which was, happily, delicious. All fried- mushrooms, shrimp, onion rings and fries, as I recall – but very tasty.
And we finally saw the creepy Well Table!! Last trip we didn’t even realize it existed- I think someone asked me if I’d seen it on an OD entry way back then. We always sat outside and gazed at the stones, and it’s in a separate room from the main bar. See those two people on the right? The only people in this room? They are sitting at the well table!! And OMG they were there forEVER. I was dying to see it myself, but didn’t want to go barging up to them, and kept hoping they would leave. Which they finally did but they certainly took their time. Rude.
It dates from 1600 and is 86 feet deep. Rumor has it that quite a few people have come to an unfortunate end after being tossed into it over the years. Particularly a woman named Florrie who lived at the inn with her husband. He went off to fight in the English Civil War during the mid-1600s, but came back at an inopportune moment and found Florrie carrying on with another man. So he killed them both and threw her into the well. And now she is reportedly one of the main Pub Ghosts.
Nope, not creepy at all!!
SO, after that, and after wandering around Avebury, we headed to the Barge again. Since we’d had difficulties on our previous strange trip to the Barge, detailed in the last entry, Kim called to see if they were serving dinner that night. Indeed they were, and they even reserved a table for us. Which was awfully nice, if a little odd since it wasn’t busy, especially when we arrived. They gave us little candles and a flower. We kind of felt like we were on a date, but at least the Barge is very inclusive!
We both got veggie lasagna. There were two kinds and of course by now I have forgotten the difference in them, and I’ve forgotten which one I had. I do remember that it was delicious. When we did at last get to eat it. Which, OMG, took like an HOUR. Apparently the kitchen lost our order. The cook bought us two more pints in apology, which despite the fact that I was driving was okay since we were there for ages. I had the 1810 beer, which was called something else in the new and short-lived Italian Gastropub Nothing-To-Do-With-UFOs-and-Crop-Circles Barge Incarnation, but I don’t remember what now. It was also delicious. And speaking of UFOs and crop circles, when I went up to the bar to order, this old guy started ranting at me about how crop circles are over!!! DONE!!!! A thing of the past!!! NO MORE CROP CIRCLES THEY ARE MEANINGLESS!!! And this was out of the clear blue — I did not bring up crop circles to him. Then he asked me something I didn’t understand, and before I could get him to clarify, he got distracted by someone else and I scurried away. So, that was weird.
The Barge as it was long ago – the only known picture of it with the watchtower on top that was destroyed in a fire in 1860.
Annnnnd…. the Barge as we left it. And then we drove back to Peasedown St John. We didn’t get back till 9:30, and it STILL wasn’t dark!! I love the looooong English summer days.