Week Five: Stonehenge v. Bath

This has felt like the longest yet fastest week so far. Even though I feel like I haven’t left the flat, I have done quite a few things this week. On Monday, I went to the Imperial War Museum after class and while I only made it through the first World War, I was so impressed with this museum. I generally love all war museums because it makes the experiences more tangible and it really provokes a lot of thoughts for me about the politics of war, but this one was particularly impressive because of the use of technology throughout the exhibits. There were a lot of screens that either displayed pictures, reenactments, or told stories of participants in/artifacts of the war. I was genuinely exhausted after attempting to read everything so I will have to go back to finish World War II and the Holocaust exhibits. I’m thinking of doing a museum crawl this week and making a post about it. I’ll put it in my back pocket.
On Wednesday, we went on a walk for one of my classes to Brick Lane to view some street art. Unfortunately I couldn’t remember all of the artists’ names and it was deathly cold so I didn’t have my phone out to jot them down so I feel bad posting pictures of the work without crediting them, but I also didn’t recognize/see a lot of tags so it’s not completely my fault. It was just so cool to see this art plastered across one section of the city that made you feel like you were in a different city altogether just from the appearance–I guess that’s what gives it the “hipster” vibe that Doug, our tour guide, referred to. That and the presence of hipsters, haha. I definitely will be returning to Brick Lane.
On Friday, I went to see Cirque du Soleil: Kooza and it was phenomenal as you can imagine. Even though you can kind of know what to expect with Cirque du Soleil, it still amazes me. The human body is so amazing. The whole concept of Cirque du Soleil has always held a special place in my heart. I couldn’t tell you what Kooza was about for the life of me considering we missed the first act unfortunately due to delays on the tube, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. We also had amazing seats! It definitely had more of a circus theme compared to other shows, I will say. Highly recommend.
Yesterday, we headed out at 8:00 a.m. for a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath. Now, the only pictures of Stonehenge I’d seen previously were just of the stones so I was completely confused as to why people were so excited to see things, but I was more than pleasantly surprised when I arrived. Not only are these stones huge (tallest being 21 ft. tall), the history behind the stones is so fascinating. There’s evidence that these stones date back to 2900 A.D.! It has also been found that the deposits that make up these stones are not even found in the area, but the nearest place being 19 miles away. I have such a hard time wrapping my head around this. HOW did they get there? Unfortunately, since people are stupid, the stones now have a large rope around them so we can’t get up close anymore. That would’ve been a cool picture to get though. I also appreciated the scenery. I never thought I’d miss the countryside. I don’t live in the country, but seeing the vast landscape with farm animals definitely reminded me of home and driving down Loop 12 with the random cows along the freeway. We headed over to Bath afterwards which made me feel less connected to the historical element considering how updated and “lived-in” the city has become, but it was definitely a flashback to senior year walking amongst the Romans once again. The preservation of history is something I highly regard and appreciate. To know that the first known bath to exist dates back to the 5th or 6th century and that these baths were right in front of us just posited so many questions that will never be answered, but that’s the beauty of history. Bath is such a beautiful city though. I was entirely too tired to explore, but I’m sad that it’s so far because I feel like I could have done some great shopping. Maybe I’ll be back one day ❤

Imperial War Museum
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Brick Lane
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Bath Abbey
The Roman Baths
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