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. 

  • Have you always wanted to visit @thepioneerwoman lodge in Oklahoma? We’ve got a new blog post today with 12 tips to make your visit spectacular. Our website link is in our bio. And if the lodge is not open for tours when you can come, no worries! There are plenty of great things to see and do when you @visit_the_osage and @pwmercantile I’m Pawhuska. #pawhuska #pioneerwoman #drummondlodge #ranch #postcardjar #reedrummond
  • This is our first spring in Osage County, Oklahoma, and we are in awe of these trees!! It is a red bud and is the state tree of Oklahoma. They are everywhere around here and we love spotting the bright pinkish purple blooms among the green trees. So much beauty in nature. #redbud @visit_the_osage  @travelok
  • Sitting in our hotel room in Venice, we could look out across the busy canal toward St. Mark's cathedral. The fact that it's an island city makes it different from any other city in the world. Water taxis zoomed around, larger vaporettos chugged past, as well. Occaisionally, a cruise ship would glide past our window. Tourists from all over the world came to take in this spectacle, yet to the locals, who drive boats down tight canals with ease, this is what normal life looks like. The world is indeed a large, interesting place. Have you been to Venice? ⁣
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  • Seeing this photo takes us back to the the cooking class we took last summer on the island of Mykonos in Greece. We went to a woman's home, learned about Greek culture and history, and then prepared a meal using fresh ingredients from the garden in her back yard. Suffice it to say, it was one of the most delicious meals we'd ever had. But perhaps even better are the memories of the warm welcome we received as we entered her home and the glimpse into the lives of real people in another part of the world. ⁣
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  • Trust us on this: there is nothing that relaxes more than kicking back in a hammock in the shade on a beach in the Caribbean. Except maybe leaving that relaxing spot and getting back on a cruise ship for cocktails and a gourmet dinner. What do you do to relax on vacation? ⁣
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  • Near Valdobbiadene, in the heart of Italy's Prosecco region, is a bar with no bartender. You simply go inside, take the wine or beer you want from the fridge, and leave your money to pay for it in a box. We weren't sure who the owner of this bar is, or even who keeps it stocked. What we do know from the cards and notes they've left is that people from all over the world have come here and respected the honor system. It's amazing how honest folks will be if you just show a little trust. ⁣
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  • Ahhh...the Piazza del Campo in Siena! We absolutely loved our time here, sitting at a sidewalk cafe, sipping delicious Chianti Clasico wine and savoring the some of the best lasagna and pasta carbonara we'd ever had. While there, we noticed a number of people drinking some kind of orange colored drink. Our waiter explained it was a spritz of some sort. We asked if it were good. She shook her head and said that only the Americans seemed to like it. ⁣
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  • This barn at at @Calamus_Outfitters in @visitnebraska serves as a reminder that this really is a working ranch. The Switzer family has poured their hearts and souls into the land. We think it's pretty neat that they're willing to share this piece of the beautiful Nebraska Sandhills with visitors. Have you been to the Nebraska Sandhills? ⁣
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Making the most of midlife.