For my 10th birthday I got one of those games that teach you things in a fun way, which was a big thing at the time, where you linked images to what they were. There were various categories, from types of flowers to animals and famous monuments. If you got it right, a green light would go on and I made it my little life’s mission to never get the red light.
I played the game so often I basically learnt all the items by heart; world’s most famous landmarks was my favourite category and this is how I first learnt about Stonehenge. In my tiny head it was this exotic, mysterious place where strange things happened, a bit like the Bermuda triangle, which was also a hot topic among 10-year-olds at the time. It seemed like something worth exploring.
The whole point of my unnecessary wordy prelude is, I had those big expectations when I was a child thinking Stonehenge would be magical, weird and wonderful. And then I heard all sorts of confusing reviews from friends who went there, so when I finally did go to see it I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It’s probably a good mindset if you don’t want your childhood dreams to shatter in a million pieces of bitter disappointment.
And I wasn’t disappointed. I wasn’t overwhelmed either. I just liked it and thought it truly was interesting. So it wasn’t as big as I had thought it would be and it didn’t feel as mysterious as I had expected it to be – nothing would be if surrounded by masses of tourists. But I enjoyed it. With the wind and grim clouds, it looked rather dramatic. It’s just a beautiful place and it should be taken for what it is.
I also thought that although they say there’s no point in guessing why it was put together in the first place because we’ll never find out, it’s impressive how much the archaeologists working there did discover and unearth. The exhibition in the visitors’ centre is full of information about the lifestyle of people back then, which when you think about it is pretty crazy. But apparently, you only need a bunch of bones to know the person’s height, diet and their origin.
I liked Stonehenge but it still bugs me a little that its beginnings aren’t clear. I guess it’s exactly this mystery what gives Stonehenge its appeal, though.