The tour is over — thank God! Another few days of that and
it might have killed me. The tour is done but not the holiday. We still have a
few days left in England to visit cousins on my Dad’s side of the family. Other
than trying to make a good impression to these people I have never met, it
should be a more relaxed few days.
Yesterday, Sunday, was the last day of the tour. We left
Cardiff, Wales and traveled east back into England. We
stopped at the ancient
Roman-founded city of Bath and that was pretty interesting, and then we
traveled on to Stonehenge— had a look at these amazing 45 tonne stones standing
in an open pasture surrounded by grazing sheep, and then we visited the nearby
Salisbury Cathedral. It is impressive on it’s own, but it also houses the Magna
Carter, which we all know is an amazing important document to our civilization
today. (I can say that now).
I lose track of some of the dates, but the city of Bath was
established by the Roman’s 1000 or more years ago over these mineral hot
springs, they believed were inhabited by the goddess Solius Minverva.
Stonehenge was erected by the Druids as a place of worship and celebration. And
Salisbury is one of the oldest cathedrals (1300s) and has the tallest spire of
any church in the UK, which is some 400 feet tall.
All of these places have historical significance, but as I
look at these and just about every other building or structure I’ve seen over
the last two weeks the one over riding question in my mind is “how the hell did
they do that.”
I can look a new billion-dollar office tower being built in
Calgary today and be impressed, but I can also see the cranes and hoists and
trucks delivering materials and sort of understand how it is built. But I look
at these massive churches, castles, bridges, and cities they built here 1,000
or more years ago and just be amazed these things were built with little more
than a hammer and stone chisel.
And they didn’t just pile up rocks they found on the site,
they hauled materials in from miles and miles away, cut, hoisted and fit
everything into place as true engineering marvels. They not only look good, but
they are sturdy. As barbaric and cruel as these civilizations might have been
according to our standards today, they sure knew how to build things.
The next time I look at any home renovation project I am
going to hire a Druid to do the work. It may take a little longer, but at least
I know it will be done right.
On the trip back from Wales to London we passed lots more
crop land — grain fields that had been combined, quite a bit of standing corn,
lots more sheep on pasture, dairy cows, a few beef, and even some free range
pigs. There was one farm with a large 20-acre field dotted with shelters and
probably 100 or more 400 or 500 pound hogs routing in the field. It was hard to
tell if they were dry sows or just oversized market animals. But they were the
only hog facilities I saw this trip. And I have seen lots more red and blue
tractors here (Case and New Holland) than green. (They did point out too that
Harry Fergusson (tractor maker) was born eight-miles from Belfast, Ireland.)
Today we are in London, resting and regrouping. I have a UK
cold which is nice, and my suitcase broke yesterday as it was unloaded from the
bus, so now I have to figure that out. And tomorrow is a tube, train and taxi
ride northeast of London to visit the Hart/Cox homeland at Whittlesey. God Save
« The studs of Ireland Trip to England comes to an end »