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Welcome, to our site! After living for some time in Israel and then in the UK we've now moved to Germany. We'd like to share our experiences with you. We hope you have as much fun reading as we have writing.




May 2020
« Mar    

Spiritual journey…?

You know how you always plan to do certain things…and then never seem to get to them…? Things like clearing up your inbox, seeing some sights, sorting through your photos and making an album…or writing a post (!)…
Easter weekend was all about these kind of things for us. We skipped the eggs, the Easter bunny and everything else ‘eastery’ and made good on some promises we made to ourselves.
It started with Emanuel surprising me with plans for a trip to the west of the UK, nothing written in stone, just a general idea…we’d rent a car and head west.
A quick look on the internet taught us there’s loads of stuff within easy reach, and even without any fix plans we were confident we’d be able to make it a nice weekend away from home.
Friday was the one day we stayed at home, to do some of the things that needed doing… Saturday we left early morning to get the rental car and around 10am we were on our way…headed west.
What we hadn’t realized before now, was how close we really live to Stonehenge. It’s always been very high on my list of ‘things to do’ so that became our first destination. Although on the one hand it’s just a bunch of stones that have been there forever and we don’t really know why…on the other hand it’s quite an impressive sight. Emanuel was impressed because it’s an unbelievable feat for our prehistoric predecessors to get these massive stones transported and set upright in this composition. I was, because the obvious importance of this mysterious monument stands in strong contrast with our failure to fully understand it.
Not too far from Stonehenge lies Salisbury. We made our next stop there, had some lunch, walked about town a bit and had a look at the cathedral. Another amazing example of our ancestor’s abilities, considering it’s built on marshlands.
By the time we were ready to leave Salisbury, it was close to dinner time. We decided we wanted to drive on to Glastonbury, so we’d be able to spend the next day there before heading towards the coast. A few phone calls got us a room in a Bed and Breakfast called Hillside where we arrived around seven. We left our stuff and went out for a late dinner, before turning in to bed.

We started the Sunday with a delicious home cooked breakfast, served by the owners Anne and Simon. They’re the sweetest couple, who manage to share their home with so many guests and still hold on to the homey atmosphere.
Anne explained us how we’d get to the Tor and down to the village and the Abbey, before we said our goodbyes.
The Tor is a hill just east of the current village, with at the top a 14th century tower, all that’s left of a chapel that once stood there. But it’s also been rumoured that the Tor is the home of the King of the Fairies and that here the veil between our and their or other dimensions is thinnest. Other theories take into account the terracing of the slopes of the hill and consider it to be an ancient labyrinth constructed to honour the ancient Goddess.
And those who know me well know that it’s this combination of Christian and Pagan sites that drew me here. A fascinating place to visit and everything I expected, albeit a little more touristy than I’d hoped :-)
Anyway, we walked up the Tor, where we enjoyed the view of the surrounding country side. It was an amazingly bright day and the view was incredible. We walked back down the hill at the other side, to end up in the centre of Glastonbury, where we headed straight for the Abbey. I’ve seen my share of churches, if only as part of my art history excursions, but these ruins of a once magnificent cathedral impressed me more than any fully intact cathedral ever has. I’ll admit that it may have been influenced just a tiny bit by the stories of Avalon…suggested to have been accessible from these same grounds…8)
Hunger drove us eventually out of Glastonbury. We wanted to get to the coast and have lunch there, hoping to have a nice sea side stroll before heading to Bath, where we wanted to stay the night.
We had some Cornish pastries in Burnham on Sea, and then drove on to Brean where we discovered Brean Down, a rocky peninsula with at the tip what’s left of Brean Down fort, built at the end of the 19th century, when there were worries about the increased size and strength of the French navy. The day was still bright and the view amazing so we took our time before heading back to our car.
From there it was only an hour’s drive to Bath, where we easily found another Bed and Breakfast. We were pointed in the direction of the city centre for our dinner, where we enjoyed a lovely Italian meal (even though the tiramisu wasn’t as good as mine :mrgreen: )

And that left only Sunday…and Bath. With its natural hot springs it has been a place of great importance during various stages in history. In Celtic times, there was a shrine dedicated to the Goddess Sulis. The Romans identified Sulis with Minerva and built a thermal complex and a temple around the hot springs, calling the city Aquae Sulis. Eventually the baths fell into decline, but the hot springs were continuously in use. By the beginning of 17th century the springs had begun to attract aristocratic and even royal families and building excavations for new bathing and housing facilities eventually led to the rediscovery of the roman baths.
We parked the car at the edge of the town centre and walked from there to the centre. On our way there we discovered a nice market before finding the cathedral where we had a look around. From there we continued to the baths. Although parts of the structure have been added only in recent centuries, or maybe because they have, the complex gives a very good feel of what the place must have looked like at the height of its bloom. Short films, models of the complex, illustrations and a very thorough audio guide provide whatever more we may need to let our imagination transport us back in time.
And it inspired us… From the old baths we went straight to the modern thermal complex, where we spent a wonderful two hours in the waters and steam baths. We finished in the rooftop pool, where we enjoyed the warmth of the sun on our face while floating in the warm water of the outside pool.
We ended our weekend in Reading where we were invited to have dinner with friends. After a lovely meal and some lessons in English jokes and Dr Who we drove the last bit home where we fell contentedly in our bed.

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