Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Episode 1030: Stonehenge, Salisbury, Bath
Did a day tour with my parents. Really brought home how commodified the tourist experience can become. We literally spent at most 90 minutes at one stop, with only an hour for Stonehenge. I didn't mind too much, since I've been to Stonehenge and Bath before. It was nice to walk about and not have my hands freezing off though! Impulsively bought Edward Rutherfurd's epic historical novel Sarum from the gift shop at Stonehenge. If I like it when I finally read it, I might hunt down his other novels, all subjecting different locales to the same epic historical treatment. Seeing a copy of the Magna Carta in the cathedral at Salisbury was pretty cool, even if the writing was inked on vellum in minuscule Latin. The weather was freakishly erratic though. Was sunny at Stonehenge until towards the end of our allotted hour, when it began pelting, and then it sporadically drizzled at Salisbury and Bath too. Went into the Roman baths at the latter, which I don't think I did the last time I was there, or at least I don't remember doing so. Managed to read most of Daren Shiau's Heartland going out of London and coming back, though I have a nagging feeling that I've actually read it before. Didn't really like how rushed and contrived the ending felt, but otherwise, I can see why it was praised. It does feel dated in some respects though, with things like pagers and characters bemoaning the lack of boutique shops in Singapore. Time for a 2011 update, even though the novel was only written in 1999?