I had no idea where Silchester was or how small it was, but sneeze and you could miss it. Even the road trip there was a little mind boggling with all the country roads you had to take to get there. And I hate taking country roads in the UK: what should be room enough for only one vehicle in Canada, the British manage to squeeze two moving vehicles in opposite directions.
|Yep, I totally could have been a gladiator.|
Being in the Amphitheatre was far more surreal than a lot of the other English Heritage sites I had visited thus far. Stonehenge was amazing, but because you couldn't get close enough the height and breadth of the monument couldn't really be felt. Old Sarum wasn't as old and neither was Farnham Castle.
It was just the foundation that was uncovered, but standing in the middle of the theatre it wasn't hard to use my imagination to see it built up around me. I say only jokingly that I could have been a Gladiator, but standing in the middle of the circle was quite intimidating: it felt so much larger and the sound would have been amplified.
I say that with some confidence because my mom and I were standing some distance apart and we were talking to each other at a normal volume and could hear each other clearly. Moving further away, we could still hear each other clearly and at the same volume. I could just imagine how the sound of a crowd of 3000 would have carried and either terrified or motivated a Gladiator.
Interestingly, there were no signs for the walls, so my mom and I had to ask a few other tourists if they knew where these walls were. They did, we found them, and as per typical English style, just part of a farm yard. I wonder if the farmer every stands next to these walls, still fifteen feet up, and comprehends that they were built thousands of years ago.
One thousand nine-hundred thirty years to be more precise. Thanks Wikipedia.
Where have you been that has made you stop in your tracks because it felt so surreal or awe-inspiring?