Sitting up by a large stone circle, 137 km southwest of London, and thinking about what sort of people could have maneuvered these giant stones? How many of these Stone carriers got a herniated disk, or whatever it was called back then? Were they perhaps giants, who lived here in these fields north of Sailsbury, using stones as a kind of Lego bricks, they never got around to putting back in the box? Sitting and thinking, that only three days ago, I was lying in the bottom of a steamboat bound for Harwich, and feared that I was going to England to make a fool of myself driving on the left side of the road. What do I do at roundabouts?? I feared the worst.
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Thinking, that I have to go back to the hotel in Portsmouth, in a few hours. Thinking that in a few days I’ll be across the Channel with friends, for a nice dinner with some seafood in Normandy. Thinking of Canterbury, Dover, Eastbourne and the old culture over here in Kent and Sussex, which rears its head from all holes and crevices. It has been enriching to be in a place you’ve only heard and read about. Motorbike holidays are the best thing you can use your time on, and in a little while, a pint of Guinness will be ready for me.
TEN YEARS AFTER, OR MANY YEARS BEFORE
As a child in Denmark in the 50s, in a school where the history class was spent outside the door with red ears, I have probably missed some knowledge of Stonehenge in my boyhood. I think my first contact with Stonehenge was through the rock band ‘Ten Years After’ in the early 70s. Super guitarist Alvin Lee impressed me back then with his riffs, and I can still remember the reddish LP cover with a drawing, and the same name, as the stone I sit and look at now. In early 1969, they released the album Stonehenge, two years before I came out of school.
“Darn, I’m old”, I think to myself, while I hear a Swedish motorbiker say to his wife, “The stones were retrieved in Wales 4,500 years ago, and erected 2,500 years before Christ.” Suddenly age means nothing.
SPEAKING SWEDISH AT STONEHENGE
The Swedish Biker and his wife sit on the bench beside me and they both smile, and he continues talking to his wife, while I fiddle with my camera. “It’s a burial ground for a people, that goes back to 3,000 BC, though some say it was a special landing pad for UFO’s, or perhaps a star observatory.” Within minutes, the talkative Swede is telling me about their roadside adventures, on the road from the North of Sweden, to the South of England. They broke down not once, but twice on the way to Stonehenge, and he proceeded to tell me about the benefits of RAC Breakdown Cover and the fact that they cover all 47 countries in Europe. Apparently, they came to his assistance in both Germany and Belgium, once for a puncture, and once for en electrical fault. So there he was, at Stonehenge, trying to sell me roadside assistance.
In the same moment a young woman passes us, dressed as a Druid. She looks so much like my school sweetheart, from the ‘Ten Years After’ time, I almost get up off the bench and start talking to her. This day has suddenly turned itself inside out, the sun bakes down from a cloudless sky, and I’m really glad I came up here from Portsmouth, there is a certain sense of spirit here.
EVERYTHING IS SO MYSTERIOUS HERE
I love mystery, and this place is very mysterious. On my way out of the area, I stop at a Souvenir Shop to enrich myself with a symbol of some kind, proof that I have been to this place. I buy a patch that says “Stonehenge Rocks”. It fits nicely in my terminology. I read briefly in a brochure, before I leave the store, that Stonehenge is perfect for fast rhythms. Experts have discovered that the tall rocks, when the stone circle was new, formed perfect acoustics for fast rhythmic music, that is, entirely in the techno genre. “Everything is so strange,” I think, while a bus full of druids pass by the motorcycles. They wave, I wave back, and suddenly I miss the blues world. I find a “The Best of Jimi Hendrix” in the top box. All this vibration surrounding Stonehenge, requires a good guitar solo on the way home to Portsmouth.
62.2 miles, an hour and nine minutes to Portsmouth, and a cold Guinness to flush out the mystery, and wash the big stones down. Friends come back out to the bikes, and everyone is happy for the experience we had here. We leave the flat landscape, while the sun slips toward the horizon, and in a few moments, the luminous ball will create new mystery, surrounding Stonehenge.