Sunday, 2 August 2015

Magical Glastonbury Tor.

After we had our sandwiches we headed off to Glastonbury Tor - I'm not sure if I actually mentioned to Robyn that there was a hill involved. Especially after I tried to climb Leith Hill with a walking frame and had to turn back in May.

On the way up, the last house was a Buddist temple - with helpful prayer wheels...hmmm thoughtful of them.

Doesn't look too bad, does it? Are those little dots by the church tower really people?

Do you see the terraces running horizontally around the hill? They are man-made and people are still arguing about them. They look a lot like old hillforts - they built wooden walls and used the height to fight off enemies.

Other people think it's an ancient 'labarynth' - a maze like route that pagan pilgrims would walk to carry out a religious ritual. It's not unlike Moslem's on the Haj, who travel a journey carrying out rituals at different spots on the way.

People have mapped out a labyrinth on the Tor and it takes an hour or so to walk it through.

Perhaps another time, we were walking for ages and it just seemed to be getting further and further away.

That's better;

Robyn took this one;

This has been a holy place since time began; they've found Stone age and Bronze age relics, there have been Roman remains, there were Anglo Saxon churches, medieval churches, you name it.

This is the view over the Somerset Levels - they are low lying and flat. They flood so often that Glastonbury Tor has been called 'The Isle of Glass', because when the level's flood it looks like the Tor is sticking out of a sheet of glass.

Back then, they drove tree trunks down into the mud and then put great planks of wood on top to make dry walkways which linked the Tor to all the outlying villages.

It is stunning whichever way you look.
And it's not really surprising that the Tor is also known as 'The Isle of Avalon', King Arthur's country.
From Glastonbury to Cornwall and Wales, everybody argues where Camelot was, where Merlin lived, where Excalabour was found or where King Arthur and Guinevere are buried.... ....but there can be little doubt that this really is Avalon. 
This is looking down at Glastonbury and Wearyall hill.

I can't stop posting pictures! We didn't want to come down.

And there is something enchanting about the place and the people who have made it their home. As we clambered up Robyn heard this girl drumming quietly;

As we came down we heard drums in the town, answering back and echoing around the Tor.

That's a long way down;

And when we left to go on to Western Super Mare, we had to stop and take a picture of the Tor for one last time.

My camera is on full zoom - it's in the middle of the trees on the skyline.

We ended up on the seafront at Western;

For some of this;

And an icecream!

It was a tough old day; roadworks on the M3, we got caught up in the holiday traffic at Stonehenge, got lost several times (I do that a lot), couldn't find our way back to the motorway on the way home so we had a quick tour of Somerset and Bristol city centre, eventually found the M4 and then discovered there were roadworks all the way back and then that the Motorway was actually shut at Newbery and we had to drive all around the world to get back to it and eventually got home at 12-15 am completely dehydrated even though we drank two litres of Tesco's Cherryade on the way home!

And we climbed a great big hill.

How cool is that?

Neil Harris

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