Growing up with family on opposite sides of England meant long journeys during school holidays, ones spent packed into a car with three others, our luggage, and two dogs. I don’t know how my parents managed, truth be told. As we made our way west, we’d list off the counties we passed through, knowing which ones meant we were closer to our destination.
Seeing the popular tourist spot of Stonehenge that resides within the county of Wiltshire meant we were just under halfway. Passing by, we would wave to the hordes of visitors, usually standing around in the drizzling English rain. As I grew up, I learnt more about Stonehenge; about the stones that made up the monument. We’d pass by and I’d no longer stare at the people, but at Stonehenge itself, wondering how stones that massive were transported all the way from Wales. Sitting in a car driving past the site took too long, in my young opinion, let along thinking about those people who walked there from further away.
I remember the best history course I ever took was where the teacher put on a video of the comedian Eddie Izzard discussing Stonehenge. Pretending to speak as a worker dragging the stones from Wales to Wiltshire, he said, “Two hundred miles in this day and age? I don’t even know where I live now!” I quote it every time I see a picture of Stonehenge or if we pass by it – I’m sure the people around me are fed up of hearing it, but it reminds me of my childhood and puts Stonehenge into perspective.
Funnily enough, I know we stopped to visit Stonehenge at least once on the way to our holiday destination, but I don’t remember it at all!