Autumnal Equinox: Stonehenge #TuesdayTravels

Tuesday Travel button

Tomorrow morning, thousands of people will converge on Stonehenge to view the sunrise on the Autumnal Equinox, hence today’s Tuesday Travels. Some of tomorrow’s visitors will be modern pagans, perhaps dressed in Druid costumes, while others are tourists. I’m sure it will be a wonderful day for all.


Stonehenge (Art Explosion)

My friend Linda Prine and I decided Stonehenge was on the top of our “must see” list when we were in London back in early July. We were unable to get on one of the private access tours that let you walk among the stones, either early in the morning or in the evening, after closing. So we opted for a regular half-day tour which ended up being a bit longer than planned. (Traffic was awful in both directions.) Since I only had my disposable camera, I have once again resorted to stock images.

Stonehenge closeup

Via Art Explosion

We drove through rain to get there, but it quit shortly after we arrived, though the weather was chilly and windy still. We were happy to have brought our rain jackets.

The stones are amazing, stuck up in the middle of a plain, for what purpose, no one knows. We may never solve the mysteries of Stonehenge. What purpose did it serve? How on earth did the builders move those huge stones without modern equipment?


Via Art Explosion

We had worried that the fence to keep visitors at a distance would be obnoxious and block any attempts at taking photos, but we were pleased to see that there’s a path around the stones with a low slung wire to trip anyone who strays off the path.

That’s just as well. Linda is a big Outlander fan, and I know she would have tried to go back in time, leaving me to explain to her husband how I managed to lose her at Stonehenge. But we encountered no paranormal activity at the site that morning. Not sure whether to be disappointed or relieved. Maybe someone will have better luck tomorrow at the Equinox.

Welcome, Autumn! Can we please have some cooler weather now?


Tower of London #TuesdayTravels

Tuesday Travel button

Our first full day in London we got tickets for the Hop On Hop Off bus and rode to the Tower of London. I was struck by the sight of hundred of thousands of ceramic red poppies surrounding the tower in commemoration of the centennial of World War I. Since I was still without a camera, I used my remaining credits to download today’s photos from

Almost 900000 ceramic poppies are installed at The Tower of London to commemorate Britain's involvement in the First World War.

London United Kingdom – 16 November 2014: Almost 900000 ceramic poppies are installed at The Tower of London to commemorate Britain’s involvement in the First World War

The site was quite crowded, and we decided to pass on a visit to the Crown Jewels, since the line was quite long. Instead Linda and I walked through the Fusilier’s Museum, which tells the story of an infantry regiment raised at the tower in 1685. One of the highlights of the museum is the Eagle Standard of the 82nd Regiment of the French Line, captured during the Napoleonic Wars. Capturing an Eagle was quite a feat for any regiment to be proud of.

Next stop was the Beauchamp Tower, where prisoners were kept, some with a view overlooking the spot where executions took place. Famous prisoners were kept her, including the husband of Lady Jane Grey. One of the interesting parts is the prisoner graffiti carved into the tower walls. My traveling companion, Linda Prine, located a possible ancestor named John Prine, said to have been a Catholic priest who was a prisoner in 1568 during the reign of Elizabeth I. (Well, obviously not a direct ancestor, but perhaps related.)

Tower of London

Famous Tower of London, United Kingdom

After leaving the tower, we grabbed a bite at a nearby spot, then took a boat up the Thames from the Tower pier to Westminster Pier. Val and I did the same cruise back in 2003 and I have some of my own pictures from that.


London Eye 2003


Houses of Parliament 2003


Houses of Parliament from top deck of Thames cruise boat.

More from London next week.