Day #164 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Busy day today…

Day #164 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Busy day today…

We can often count on our routine to get us through another day, and in part, today won’t be much different. Add a few new tasks, and suddenly I feel busy, as we may have been in times before COVID-19.

Today’s photos were from this date in 2014 when our ship docked in England, enabling us to take a tour of Stonehenge. See this link for details.

Alternate view of Stonehenge.

I can’t wait for the busy days in the future once we leave India, including cooking, laundry, household tasks, and sightseeing. Heading out every two days to take photos added to our level of activity, and of course, weekly trips for shopping and other errands often occupied our days.

An additional rock had been discovered.

At this point, we realize and accept we may not be able to get back into South Africa until after the first of the year. Of course, if we ever get back to Marloth Park, we will easily spend an entire day fussing over the visiting wildlife, chopping carrots and apples for them, and later chopping and dicing vegetables for our meals. Gosh, I miss all of that.

Tom at Stonehenge.

But, as time passes, we can see other countries may be possible for us while we wait for the borders to open in S.A. At this point, it’s all about being able to fly out of India and head to a country close in or close to the African continent.

Me, at Stonehenge. It was raining, and we were fairly soaked.

It would have been possible to walk my goal of 10,000 steps a day simply by partaking in day-to-day activities in our old lives. It has taken several months for me to build the stamina that I lost after heart surgery. Still, finally, all these months later, I genuinely believe I will be able to go forward in a way similar to life before February 2019.

When I think back to a year ago, while we were in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, I had a terrible time walking to the local restaurant/pub, all uphill. Now, it would be considerably more manageable. For us, exercising has been an unexpected benefit of being in lockdown, basically forcing us to get moving instead of sitting all day.

Birds at Stonehenge.

Back to today’s photos. The June 2020 discoveries were made by archaeologists regarding the origination of these unusual rock formations as described here from this article:

“June 22, 2020: The mystery near and around Stonehenge keeps growing. According to an announcement from the University of Bradford, the latest revelation is the discovery of a ring of at least 20 prehistoric shafts about 2 miles from the famous Neolithic site of immense upright stones.

‘Astonishing discovery’ near Stonehenge offers new insight into Neolithic ancestors. Research on the pits at Durrington was undertaken by a consortium of archaeologists as part of the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project. #DurringtonPits @gaffney_v

Archaeologists say the “astonishing” shafts in Durrington Walls date back to 2500 B.C. and form a circle more than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) in diameter. Each measure up to 10 meters (33 feet) in diameter and 5 meters (16 feet) deep.

Researchers say there may have been more than 30 of the shafts at one time.

Alternate view.

“The area around Stonehenge is among the most studied archaeological landscapes on Earth, and, remarkably, the application of new technology can still lead to the discovery of such a massive prehistoric structure which, currently, is significantly larger than any comparative prehistoric monument that we know of in Britain, at least,” said Professor Vincent Gaffney of the University of Bradford.

View from the opposite side.

The research was conducted by a consortium of archaeologists as part of the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project. The University of Bradford was the lead institution, joined by Vienna’s Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology; the Universities of Birmingham, St. Andrews and Warwick; the University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids; and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre at the University of Glasgow.”

Large stone recovered from the area to illustrate the massive size of the stones.

This discovery doesn’t definitively explain how the rock formations were constructed. Still, it perhaps gives future scientists a little more information to add to their repertoire of data accumulated over the past few centuries. It will be interesting to see if more information rises to the surface in our lifetime.

Zoom in to read this text of the skeletal remains of a man found in Stonehenge.

In any case, we certainly enjoyed seeing the famous rock formations when we were allowed to walk on a paved pathway surrounding the area. For more on this, please see our post from September 3, 2014, here.

More skeletal remains were found in Stonehenge.

For today, I’m glad I had the above information to add to today’s post since I’m in somewhat of a rush to get to work on some tasks, details of which we’ll share later.

Have a pleasant day.

Photo from one year ago today, September 3, 2019:

Entrance to the Church of St. Mylor in the sleepy town of Mylor, Cornwall. For more photos, please click here.

Part 1, Stonehenge…


After yesterday’s ship WiFi fiasco, I’m still struggling with getting online on the ship’s WiFi. Hopefully, these issues will not impede getting online to post daily as usual. I spent over a half-hour with the ship’s tech guy and he suggested I download Firefox which hopefully will solve the issues. We’ll keep you updated through Tom’s connection.

Here is a link for detailed information about Stonehenge’s history and preservations.

Alternate view of Stonehenge.

As for Tuesday’s tour to Stonehenge, we couldn’t have enjoyed it more. We’d wondered if we’d find a visit to a collection of large rocks as appealing as it proved to be. Stonehenge remains to be a mystery, although, over the past few centuries, many scientists and researchers have speculated as to its origins.

Additional rock was discovered.

However, scientists do know that Stonehenge is an ancient temple aligned with the sun’s movements. Over 4500 years ago, intelligent prehistoric people designed and raised the stones to their present configuration as a memorial to their dead where many remains are buried.

Tom, at Stonehenge.
Me, at Stonehenge.

An “English Heritage” designation exists to protect and promote England’s historic treasures and England makes every effort to ensure that these treasures are researched and revered to the utmost. In the case of Stonehenge, located in North Amesbury, Wiltshire, England, the project has continued for years to maintain a sense of dignity to this wonder of human endeavor.

Birds at Stonehenge.

Stonehenge is surrounded by well maintained green lawns with cordoned off areas to prevent erosion of this mysterious ancient burial ground created as a tribute to the ancestors of the creative designers, builders, and people of the region.

Alternate view.

At first glance, one may easily ascertain that this seeming, unorganized arrangement of ancient rocks is mere folly. But, as we made our way along the long walkway surrounding Stonehenge while listening to the presentations on the headset we each were each given upon entry it was easy to grasp and understand the powerful nature of this unusual display that most of first became aware of in grade school or middle school.

Another view as we walked around the stones on a designated path.

Yearly, over 5 million visitors visit Stonehenge, many seeking healing from its mystical energy and others visiting out of curiosity. We were somewhere in the middle. To our surprise, the hour-long walk around the display was never boring or leaving one feeling as if they’d had enough.

View from the opposite side.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of theories regarding Stonehenge.  We don’t profess to have formulated an opinion as to its complex origins. All we can say is that we’re grateful for the opportunity to see Stonehenge by the small eight-person tour meticulously arranged by our tour mates, Carolyn and Ron, each half of a couple that toured along with us with their spouses and another couple.

Large stone recovered from the area to illustrate the massive size of the stones.
One could pull this rope hanging from the left on this stone to determine how many workers it would have taken to move this stone, based on one’s strength. 

The eight of us got along tremendously and the conversation was lively and animated during our three-plus hours riding in the comfortable 18 person van. Our tour guide, Steven, was knowledgeable and helpful ensuring we were able to easily navigate the day’s points of interest which also included an unexpected visit to the village of Salisbury to explore the renowned Salisbury Cathedral.

Zoom in to read this text of the skeletal remains of a man found in Stonehenge.

In Part 2, Stonehenge, which we’ll present in a few days, we’ll share our photos of the massive ancient Salisbury Cathedral, built beginning in the year 1220. We had to good fortune to explore this stunning Cathedral which contained one of three worldwide copies of the Magna Carta.

More skeletal remains found in Stonehenge.

Please check back as we continue to share our photos of these enjoyable private day-long small group tours.  Having experienced these past two days in eight-person tours, we’re convinced that we’ll have little interest in the 60-people-on-a-bus tours in the future. Today, we’re off to Cork, Ireland, and the Blarney Castle.

Once again, we apologize for missing a few days of posting due to both our tight touring schedule and constant WiFi issues.

                                         Photo from one year ago today, September 3, 2013:

The outdoor living where we spend considerable time during our three months in Kenya. For details, please click here.

Part 1…Stonehenge, England…Available tomorrow…

Error correction: Yesterday’s post stated we were going to Cork, Ireland to the Blarney Castle today, Tuesday, when in fact we went to Stonehenge.  Tomorrow’s post will include Part 1 of Barley Castle in Cork, Ireland.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

At the moment, only minutes before the ship sails to Ireland, I’m awaiting a call from the ship’s tech support.  Apparently, their system is unable to connect to my newer computer due to its “advanced” technology.

As a result, I am unable to complete a post for today’s tour of the amazing Stonehenge. In moments, our MiFi will lose the signal.

After waiting at guest services desk for a half-hour, the rep asked, “Why can’t you use your husband’s computer?”

When it takes me three to four hours to post, I can expect Tom to sit there with nothing to do while I use his computer. Plus, he always does research for the posts I’m writing at the same time. It’s a two-person operation.

Thus, there’s no post today other than this notice. But, we look forward to being in port early tomorrow morning when I can use the MiFi once again, or hopefully, on the ship’s WiFi if my computer connectivity issues have been resolved.

Frustrating to say the least. Tomorrow morning, we’ll post Part 1 of the extraordinary day in Stonehenge and the village of Salisbury in England. Unbelievable experience!

See you tomorrow with photos!

                                                 Photo from one year ago today, September 2, 2013:
There was no photo posted on this date one year ago.  We were experiencing a 34-hour travel day.

Leaving London…Heading to Harwich to the pier…We’ll be posting later today…Cruise itinerary here today…

Our usual photo post for today will be online 6 to 8 hours later than usual, which will contain photos of our ship and our cabin. If we spot anything special on the 2.5-hour drive to the pier, we’ll certainly include those photos as well.

We both look forward to sharing our exciting adventures on our upcoming transatlantic cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas over 14 nights.

Over the next several mornings we’ll be leaving the ship on private tours to the following locations with more to follow:

1.  Monday: Normandy, France – American beaches and cemeteries from World War II.
2. Tuesday: Portland, England – Stonehenge
3. Wednesday: Cork, Ireland – Blarney Castle

On these three days, we’ll make every effort to post late in the day when we return with photos from the tours. On each of these three days, we’ll be leaving the ship at 8:00 am, not returning until 6:00 or 7:00 pm with a mad rush to the dining room for dinner. 

In the worst case, we’ll upload a short post explaining when we’ll be back with full posts on each of these experiences, including photos of our upcoming tour in Iceland to see the Northern Lights. We’ll be out to sea for several days and we’ll have plenty of time to upload complete posts of these experiences.

Here’s the actual ship’s itinerary:

Sun Aug 31 London (Harwich), England 5:00pm
Mon Sep 1 Paris (Le Havre), France 7:00am 9:00pm
Tue Sep 2 Portland, England 7:00am 4:00pm
Wed Sep 3 Cork (Cobh), Ireland 10:00am 4:30pm
Thu Sep 4 At Sea
Fri Sep 5 Klaksvik, Faroe Islands 9:00am 6:00pm
Sat Sep 6 At Sea
Sun Sep 7 Reykjavik, Iceland Noon
Mon Sep 8 Reykjavik, Iceland 5:00pm
Tue Sep 9 At Sea
Wed Sep 10 At Sea
Thu Sep 11 At Sea
Fri Sep 12 At Sea
Sat Sep 13 At Sea
Sun Sep 14 Boston, MA 6:00am

If for any reason, we don’t have a post later today, it will be due to WiFi connectivity issues. We’ll have access to both the ship’s signal and XCOM Global’s MiFi. Hopefully, we won’t have issues with either.

We look forward to sharing our experiences with you in these exciting locations. Thank you to each and every one of our readers worldwide. We always feel as if you are traveling along with us.

There was no post from one year ago on this date: