I groaned about getting up at 3:15am, but it was well worth heading out to Stonehenge for the summer solstice celebration this morning. It was my second time out for it, and it remains a pretty mellow party. I also have to chuckle about how with thousands of people there, we still manage to bump into neighbors in the middle of the stones. Some pics and vids:
You can hear the celebration from some distance before even arriving:
The usual entrance, a tunnel under the road, is closed. The road itself is closed, so you just walk through temporary turnstiles that are setup. Police are all around, and they’re turning a blind eye to practically anything that isn’t in their face:
One of my favorite parts are the temporary food stands setup near the entrance. There’s a burger stand:
Then right next to it the vegan food stand (which has bigger crowds):
Crowds are all around the stones, but just as my last trip, it’s fairly easy to get inside. Crowded, sometimes briefly scarily so, but nice to be there. And again, one of the few non-stoned, non-drunk people!
It was raining, but very light and even that stopped from time to time. The cloud cover was complete, so people knew they weren’t going to see the sun. But they were still happy to be there. For fun, balls kept going around:
More happy people (and no, that bright light is not the sun — it’s a temporary light that was setup):
This woman was from Columbia and couldn’t believe she was within the stones:
Eventually, sunrise happened. Again, we couldn’t see the sun (if we had, it would have come up through the stones to the left). But people were watching the time, so it was kind of like New Years, even with the occasional “Happy Solstice” being said:
Something new happened from the last time I was there. This thing on a stick appeared. I didn’t get it at first until I went back and saw this photo. It’s supposed to be the sun coming through where the real sun would have shined between the stones:
Now last time, there were some actual druids in the middle of all this craziness. I couldn’t tell if any were there or not, this time. Or if one was holding the sun thing. But here’s some video of it coming in:
Eventually, we headed out like many others. Here’s outside the stones as people started departing:
Oh, and I did see some druids finally. At the exit, oddly enough:
Happy Solstice, everyone!