Continuing on our Mad Max adventure, we drove away from the grey and drizzling Stonehenge and on towards the Avebury stone circles. But halfway there we stopped when we came across a a strange spectrum on the hill. It was massive, white and in the shape of a horse. Turns out it was our first chalk horse of the trip.
Story goes that a neighbouring county cut a stylised white horse into the side of a hill – you know, as you do. They only needed to get rid of the grass and dig a little because the layer of chalk is only a foot or so below the surface. So what was Wiltshire to do? Wait a few hundred years and then make a few themselves of course. The horse in the photo above is one of the four that we saw on our tour. They are an incredible example of the lengths human will go to to leave their mark on the world. It’s also a good example of how people distracted themselves before the invention of the Internet.
Next stop was the Avebury stone circles. This is the lesser known, but much cooler, cousin of Stonehenge. It’s bigger, the stones are rougher (instead of those box shaped ‘trying too hard’ Stonehenge standing stones), there are two circles and oh there is a village in the middle.
Avebury was brilliant. It has a mystical reputation which was further enhanced when a TV show called Children of the Stones was set there; anyone who went inside the stone circles were trapped there by a psychic power. But then again, the show was filmed in the 70’s so who knows that the hell was going on.
Because of its magical reputation, Avebury attracts some interesting characters. While I was there I was asked by a wizard if I wanted an ice cream. I declined, because my Mum always told me not to accept treats from men in purple robes.
I think the reason I loved Avebury so much was because it didn’t have any of the icky tourists that flock to Stonehenge. It was just circles of stones that you could reach out and touch with a peaceful village and some sheep. And I really liked visiting with a tour, it was equal parts history lesson, mystic theorising and wandering round in the sunshine.
Runawaykiwi was a guest of Mad Max Tours but all views expressed are my own.