Mum and I got up at something like 3am, after a horrible night of sleep and an inability to crash at 8. Between the jetlag, having just arrived in London a few days before, and the unwillingness of my brain to turn off when I was worrying about getting up so early, I’m sure I only slept for a few hours.
Mum and I dressed quietly, drank muddy coffee from the cheap french press we’d picked up at Marks & Spencer (English hotel rooms are not appointed with coffee makers, apparently) and headed out into the still, dark morning.
I thought, fleetingly, that I’ve gotten home from nights out earlier than we were leaving our hotel this morning.
From there, we hopped in a taxi to another London hotel, where we met a bus of similarly sleepy tourists, maybe 20 of us in all, to enjoy a snooze on the ride north towards a circle of rocks that suddenly seemed entirely worthless compared to the value of a cozy bed.
We arrived near the stones in time to transfer to another little bus, deciding, since there was no rain at the moment, to leave umbrellas on the first bus. We then proceeded to watch the other bus pull away from us as our little group walked towards the stones. We were alone, maybe 20 of us and a tour guide, in silence with the stones as the rest of the UK was likely just waking up.
Stonehenge is a mysterious structure, and the briefing that our tour guide gave us was exactly that-brief. I wanted to hear more about alien theories, but instead he informed us that the stone circle was not quite as special as we may have previously thought, and that there were ancient circles and burial mounds littering the English countryside.
But, of course, it felt special.
And being there at sunrise, in the presence of rocks that sufficiently reminded us of how tiny we are and how young in the grand scheme of the earth, was a great experience. We were able to get very close, though we couldn’t enter the stone circle because the grass was too soggy due to a lot of recent English rain.
We took pictures practically touching the huge rocks, and we were close enough that the workers had to kindly ask us to please not touch them.
We circled stonehenge slowly as the sky gradually lightened (a very English sunrise indeed, no drama, just a slightly less grey lighting scheme).
Once we were sufficiently photographed, mum and I meandered off to the little road to wait, shivering, for the return of the little bus that would bring us to warmth. Which was, of course, when the sky opened up and unleashed a rainstorm that soaked us completely, every inch. Even through our rain coats and sweaters, we were soaked and shivering.
Of course, while blow drying our hair under hand dryers, wiping away our liquified makeup and wrapping ourselves in our new stonehenge branded fleeces, we could only laugh. At least we’d gotten our pictures.
Tour to Stonehenge at Sunrise through Premium Tours UK. This is not an affiliate link. Dates are limited for private sunrise viewings, so book well in advance (and bring your umbrella!).
Have you been to Stonehenge? Tell me about your experience in the comments!