After we saw those great things, MacCauley took me walking down the oldest known road in Europe -- Ridgeway. People have been using that road for 4,000 years or more by now, which, as he said, is quite humbling indeed. Along the road, we made a detour for a long barrow, where there was not only a rich cultural background, but a practicing Neo-pagan (Heathan) performing a little personal reverence to the people buried here. Needless to say, I took the oppurtunity to interview he and his wife, and that was quite nice.
Next, my intrepid couchsurfing friend and I found a little copse (private grove) where rituals had taken place, the pictures of which you will see below. We walked up the path, got in the car, visited a little pub called the Trout Inn (on the Thames river, no less!), and saw a 'tithe barn,' where peasants would put their lord's share of the crop. Then we went through picturesque village after idyllic hamlet until we were home again, where I tried smoking one of my new pipes, and he cooked a delicious curry. All in all, it has been a downright incredible day.
Tomorrow I will be browsing around in the famous antique shops of nearby Lechlade, and will get a bus from there to Oxford. Only two days until I meet Roger Scruton! There are, of course, many, many reasons I want to go to Oxford, but Scruton is chief among them, frankly.
Hope you enjoy the pictures below...
|Uffington White Horse's head|
|The highest point in Oxfordshire|
|St. George's Mount, the legendary location of the slain dragon|
|The edge of the hillfort. Rolling cheeses down it seems fun!|
|The Neo-Pagan honoring the ancestors associated with the land|
|The Barrow, or Wayland's Smithy|
|Looking back to White Horse Vale from the mouth of the grove... Ridgeway stretching back in both distance and time.|
|The little grove we found|
|An arrangement of rocks left by a Neo-Pagan to honor Mother Earth (Note the hard-to-see spiral pattern). It had a stick of incense next to it, half burned.|