We arrived in London, England, as scheduled and had a lovely drive (thanks Chirton Grange)

The obligatory selfie.

The obligatory selfie.

through the countryside to our first stop — Stonehenge. It was amazing to see this ancient phenomena in person and learn even more about its history and mystique. We spent about 40 minutes in the visitors’ center learning about the history of the stones and looking at artifacts and models of what it might have looked like thousands of years ago. Then, we went outside and saw the stones for ourselves.

Here are 5 facts we learned on our visit.

1. It took about 160 stones to build Stonehenge. Many of those stones are gone or deteriorated. The weight of the largest Sarsen stones was 35 tons and the heel stone was estimated at 40 tons. It is said that some of the stones were likely brought from 300 miles away. Today, there are 83 stones remaining.

Stonehenge

2. Historians still do not know why this structure was built. Although it was likely built over the course of more than 1,000 years (during which everyone involved knew why they were building it), there is no written history. There are a variety of theories (house of worship, burial ground, place of healing, etc.) but none has been proven conclusive so no one really knows why today.

Stonehenge

3. Stonehenge is seen by more than 1 million visitors a year. People come from all over the world to see the stone for themselves and explore the surrounding landscape. Stonehenge now boasts a modern visitor’s center where you can download a free audio guide, learn about the site and the excavated remains, and take short bus ride to the main attraction. There are also a cafe, gift shop, and clean restrooms.

Stonehenge

4. Women were prominent members of the ancient society there. While many ancient burial grounds reveal the remains of men, there are fewer where the remains of women are found. A recent excavation at Stonehenge went against that trend, revealing that it is probable that women were prominent members of society because they were buried in a cemetery likely reserved for the VIPs of that day and age.

5. Nobody there had ever heard about Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska, USA. Sadly, as popular as the Stonehenge replica is in Nebraska, no one at the real site in England had ever heard about it. In fact, I had to show people a picture of Carhenge so they didn’t think I was totally crazy. Nonetheless, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to send the folks back home at Carhenge a postcard from the original in England.

Stonehenge to Carhenge

Have you been to Stonehenge (or Carhenge for that matter)? What did you think? Let us know in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you. 

  • Perched high on a hill in Tuscany is the medieval village of Montepulciano. In the center of town is the piazza grande paved with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern in the 14th century. ⁣
⁣
Standing in the piazza, looking at the bricks, we were filled with a sense of awe at the history these bricks have seen. They've been there for 700 years so have seen times of war and peace, celebration and sorrow. Generation after generation of townsfolk were born, lived and died, and all have walked on these bricks. ⁣
⁣
This is one of the things we love most about traveling. It gives us an authentic feel for history, one we wouldn't have if we just stayed at home.
  • We were so tickled when @thechefandthedish reached out and asked us if we'd like to take a complimentary cooking class with them. They offer private cooking classes with chefs from all over the world that you can take right in your own kitchen. ⁣
⁣
For this class, we Skyped with chef Paola who taught us to make strawberry risotto, traditional bruschetta, and a delicious poached pear dessert that blew our minds. ⁣
⁣
Risotto always seemed like a difficult dish to make, but Chef Paola explained it so well that it wound up being pretty easy. We spent a great afternoon with friends, learned something new, and enjoyed a great meal after. A class with The Chef & The Dish is a great gift idea, as well. Follow the link in our bio, and you can read more about our class on our blog.
  • The world is a big place, and there's so much to discover. Go places, and see things. It doesn't matter if you don't have a detailed itinerary, either. Sometimes, it's more about the journey and what you see and experience along the way, than it is about the destination.
  • During our trip in Tuscany with @italyunfiltered, we stopped at a small family winery. After learning about the organic methods they use to produce high quality Chianti Clasico wines, we had a tasting. ⁣
⁣
Wine tastings in Italy are nothing like those in the US. They are glorious affairs complete with delicious foods paired with the incredible wines. This particular winery brought us samples of homemade, organic jams made from fruits grown in the family's garden. We dabbed these on locally produced pecorino cheese. Yum!⁣
⁣
We're so glad that we had a local driver and guide. Stopping here was a highlight of our Italian adventure, and we never would have found it on our own.
  • The village of Marsaxlokk, Malta, is famous for these brightly painted fishing boats. The design is rather ancient, possibly dating back to Phoenician times, though it's still used today because it is very strong and holds up well in rough weather. One feature of each boat's decorations, are eyes painted on the bow of the boat. These eyes are said to protect the people fishing while they are at sea.
  • The blue cobblestones of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, are actually part of a recycling project which started 500 years ago. Iron foundries in Spain produced huge piles of waste, called slag. Rather than throw these piles away, the slag was made into blocks which was placed into ships as ballast. The ballast was offloaded in Puerto Rico when they loaded products bound for Spain. The blocks were then used to pave the streets. ⁣
⁣
Pretty good idea, and 500 years later, they are holding up well!
  • The Overseas Highway connects Key West and the Florida Keys to the mainland U.S. While the entire road is a marvel of engineering, the centerpiece is the Seven Mile Bridge, which runs over water for, well, seven miles.⁣
⁣
The next time you're driving, reset your trip odometer and wait until it gets to seven miles. You'll see that's a pretty long distance. And then think about the fact that people built a bridge over water with no land to support them for that distance. Pretty incredible-especially since the first one was built in 1912.
  • We'd never heard of cannonball rocks before we drove past them at North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and asked each other, "did you see that?" We'd never seen anything quite like these natural "concretions" created when water leaked into pockets of minerals in the ground. Now, as a hill erodes, these formations are exposed.⁣
⁣
Seeing these rocks was such a cool experience because it reminded us of why we travel. We never know when we'll find something new, something that we never knew existed. We got along fine not knowing about cannonball rocks, yet now that we've seen them, our lives are a little richer. ⁣
⁣
The world is a pretty cool place. Check it out.⁣
⁣
@ndlegendary

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska