Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know, for a world heritage site, Stonehenge is not all the brochures make it out to be.
First off, you’re in the middle of Salisbury Plain, which is pretty to look at as long as you can find beauty in places where the moo cows and fat (like really obese) hogs hang out.
Second, the presentation at Stonehenge sucks. I’m sorry to be so brutally blunt about it, but it’s terrible. They walk you around the circle of stones and spend the entire time telling you what Stonehenge is not instead of playing to the audience’s imagination.
One of the first things they tell you is that Stonehenge was not a place where sacrifices were conducted.
Really, you’re going to take all of the fun out of it right off the bat?
That myth apparently got started because the chemical make up of the rocks and the stuff growing on it does a funky reaction whenever it rains. It’s really present only on what people call the sacrifice stone because that stone fell over.
When it rains, the rock turns red.
Blah. What fun is a chemistry lesson in the middle of my vacation?
Most of what follows is basically blah, blah, blah.
The celts didn’t build it. It wasn’t a religious temple. It’s a marvel of ancient engineering.
By the time you get to the end of the tour, the only theory they haven’t discounted is that Stonehenge may have been a giant calendar. In fact, they drop little hints along the way that suggest it was a calendar but they keep trying to claim they don’t know what Stonehenge was used for.
Come on now. I may be from the south but I’m not that dumb. I can see when you’re secretly trying to plant an idea in my head.
It all made me say, “M’eh.”
I won’t deride Stonehenge too much. It is pretty cool to see the arrangement of stones in circles — or at least what’s left of the circles.
You just have to keep in mind that it’s cool in that “I’m staring at a bunch of rocks” kind of way. What was more interesting for me was getting the opportunity to photograph the stones.
Once you hear no bloodbaths took place there, it just becomes a cool photo opportunity.
They should have actors in costume jump out from behind some of the stones and charge at people with Neolithic weapons in hand. That would make the presentation go a lot farther.
It’s got to be a lot better than getting a chemistry lesson with the moo cows.
Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at email@example.com.