Regular readers of this, sadly, sporadically updated journal will know that I posted some photos of the gardens at Stourhead only a few short weeks ago. I called in there on one of my journeys down to Salisbury to visit Julia.
Keener readers may remember that, a few years ago, I went there early on a crisp autumn morning and fluked some vibrantly colourful photos of the gardens in their seasonal finery. (The two entries are here and here.) Well, Rebekka really liked those photos, and when I suggested we visit Stourhead during her stay, she nodded furiously. So, the day after Avebury, we were heading out of Somerset and into Wiltshire once more - with some loud Rammstein going on at the same time.
Because I'd been there taking photos only a couple of weeks before, I decided I wouldn't concentrate on the usual magnificent views, but rather on the small things, the things I perhaps hadn't noticed before. So this is a slightly different view of this wonderful place.
After the main gardens, we popped around to King Alfred's Tower, a huge folly on the same estate. I'd been there before too, but hadn't mustered the courage to climb up it. I have a problem with spiral staircases. I don't think I'm claustrophobic, in fact mine seems to be more of a rational fear. I can't work out what's holding it all up. A spiral staircase only seems to have itself for support, and that concerns me. This particular spiral staircase is very long, very tight and confined, very dark, and there's the added problem that when you're going up it (as I very soon found) there are other people coming down. If I had been on my own, I wouldn't have bothered, but with Rebekka I had to do it. And, after all, there were lots of children taking it in their tiny strides, and I'm supposed to be grown-up and confident.
It was a 'difficult' experience, but I got there. The views from the top were astonishing, and I could even spot Glastonbury Tor on a distant horizon.
And Glastonbury is where we ended up next, for lunch, a general mooch around and a visit to the bewitching ruined Abbey. As I said to Rebekka at the time, if I ever set off aimlessly from home, just wanting to go somewhere, and who knows where, Glastonbury is where I always seem to end up. So, a planned visit is always welcome. It wasn't to be our last time there either, but more of that later.
Next time - a lazy day on Kilve Beach