Thoughts on the wild, the weird, and the romantic from author Joy Nash

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Joy Nash is a USA Today Bestselling Author and RITA Award Finalist applauded by Booklist for her "tart wit, superbly crafted characters, and sexy, magic-steeped plots."

» Monday, October 16, 2006

Into the books: Day 13, Stonehenge and Avebury

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July 6 was the last day of our vacation. We were leaving from London, so we spent the day on a leisurely drive from Bath to London, stopping off at Stonehenge and Avebury on the way. These were both places that my husband and I had first visited on our honeymoon, almost (gulp!) twenty-one years ago. (I was 12 when I got married, btw.)

Stonehenge, of course, needs no explanation! Twenty years ago, we were able to walk among the stones, but now the whole site is roped off and you have to walk the path around it. Good for picture taking, I suppose, but not quite as dramatic as having the stones loom over you. Here's a pic:

After leaving Stonehenge, we traveled a few miles north to Avebury. Avebury is the largest of the stone circles in England. Actually, it's two concentric stone circles, and the circles are so large that there's a small village in the middle of the circle! There are two roads crossing the circle that meet right in the center.

Here's a pic of one of the roads that cut through the center of the circle. You can see one of the stones of the outer circle in the foreground on the right, and a line of stones of the inner circle behind it. The stones were originally a lot bigger, they've been chipped away over the centuries by people looking for building material. In some places the stones are gone altogether, and there are small markers showing where they would have been.

These trees with the incredible above-ground roots are just outside the circle on the east side. We were told that author J. R. R. Tolkien visited these trees decades ago and received some inspiration for his work-in-progress, The Lord of the Rings. (Sorry I didn't do better with the light setting on the camera)

Later that day we battled the traffic into London. We'd been there for a week a few years earlier when my husband was sent there on a business trip, so we didn't stop this time to see any London sights. Early the next morning, we left the UK and returned home.

I hope to go back to the U.K. someday! I'd especially love to spend more time in Wales. There was so much we didn't see, but we felt very fortunate to have been able to make the trip. I hope my journeys bring that much more authenticity to my books!


Joy Nash


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