Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge

Trip Start May 04, 2007
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Trip End May 21, 2007


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Friday, May 18, 2007

May 18, 2007
 
Today we went to the town of Salisbury and to see Stonehenge with Les Lees.  The town of Salisbury is famous for the cathedral; the spire of this church is the tallest in England (404 feet).  The cathedral was completed in 38 years; construction began in 1220 and was finished in 1250. Salisbury is not far from Bournemouth and we were there in less than an hour.  Again, the trip there was gorgeous and I must say that it was incredible to see the spire piercing the sky as we came through the hills.  We toured the cathedral, noticing the floor stones marking people interred at the cathedral.
While in the cathedral, I saw a crypt with what looked like portholes in the side with a small space beyond the hole; I overheard a guide saying that this was so that people with diseased limbs could slip their arms as close as possible to the saint in the crypt (for healing).  We also saw some very old graffiti (from the 1700's on some crypts); it is interesting how graffiti becomes part of the attraction! In the attached charter house, we saw the Magna Carta 1215.  There were originally many copies of the MC (they believe) and 4 copies survive today. According to the docent, the best preserved copy is the one we saw. It was amazing how crisp the writing was after nearly 800 years; the docent said that she believes that it was the iron used in the ink.  The Magna Carta is an incredibly significant document and it was an important foundation for the U.S. constitution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta).
 
After being sufficiently awed by everything in the Salisbury Cathedral, we stopped off at the Wig & Quill pub for a quick drink (we were primarily interested in going there due to the name!).  Feeling more refreshed, we headed toward Stonehenge. 
 
Of course, the visit to Stonehenge makes the Salisbury Cathedral seem downright modern!  It is believed that Stonehenge was constructed in 3100 B.C.; there seem to be many unanswered questions about the purpose of the stones. If you wondered about the name: a henge is a circular ditch and a bank (thus stone henge).  If you would like further information: http://www.stonehenge.co.uk/about.htm
You'll see that we look quite cold in these pictures near the stones; it was quite strange, as we neared the stones and the open plain the sky suddenly became very foreboding (windy & misting).  It does feel like a mystical place; Les told us that around the summer solistice, crowds become significant. 
 
Today was also our "farewell" dinner with several BPC staff; this was a nice chance to see several of the staff involved with our visit again (and it was a lot of fun!).  As I am sure that you can tell, I enjoyed myself immensely and I have really profited from this experience (personally & professionally). I have truly appreciated all of the time and effort that BPC staff have devoted to this exchange. I felt that we were very welcome at BPC and this visit has given me many ideas that I plan to take back to CFC.  The next major step we hope to consider is the development of a student exchange; there are plenty of details to hammer out in order for this to be feasible, but I think that our experiences at BPC will be of great use in problem-solving and anticipating needs for such an arrangement.
 
We have arranged to meet with our curriculum partners on Sunday evening, so our final "farewell" to them will occur in a few days.  Tomorrow, we are off for a quick trip to London!.
 
 
 
 
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