And what we get wrong when visiting them.
Europeans really have no clue how big America is, do they? I’ll give you an example in a moment.
We can’t just get in our car, drive for 3 hours and suddenly be immersed in a different country, like someone in Europe can. Well some of us can, like me. It only takes a few minutes and my Nexus card, and I am in Canada. Niagara Falls, Ontario is not much different from here in Niagara Falls, USA – except they drive a bit faster over there.
Funny Story About Clueless Europeans
A friend told me about clueless tourists coming across the Canadian/US border. Her husband is a customs officer. Europeans fly into Toronto, drive to Niagara Falls, Ontario, take the Rainbow Bridge or the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge into Niagara Falls, NY. They cross into America, with hand to their head shading the sun’s glare, peering into the distance, ask, “Where is New York City,” as if they can see it off in the distance when they arrive. It is a 7 hour, 408 mile drive from here! That is what I mean about Europeans not realizing that this is such a big country.
A direct flight from Seattle to London takes what seems an eternity. When was the last time you folks in Europe were in a plane for 10 or more hours to visit another country in Europe? Maybe I am not getting Europe’s size, but I have been in Eastern, Central, Northern, Southern, and Western Europe. Different trips, but it seems pretty easy to get places in a short amount of time.
It takes about as long to go to London as it does to Seattle for me. I took a plane from Buffalo to Hawaii and that was over 10 hours, not counting layovers. We are BIG here!
I do realize that the US can fit inside some other countries and they are much bigger, but European countries are smaller than some of our states.
Europeans also have big, wide-open landscapes like we do here in the Mid-West or bread-basket states. The opening image shows some similarity, but not to the same scale. Drive across our country and some states go on and on – big, desolate, and empty. It is like driving your car feeling as if it is like a boat lost at sea. You wonder when you will see civilization again.
Europe is Much Older
One thing people in America don’t really comprehend fully, is how old things are in Europe. They realize places are old, but not always understand how very old they are.
Some would dismiss these boulders as just rocks. I am not sure even British historians/archeologists know the actual reason why these rocks stand, but new discoveries theorize all the monuments have a relationship with each other. They must have had great significance to their creators.
This post contains images of Stonehenge and Avebury Henge (Wiltshire). Many would look at these big rocks and not fathom the dates these neoliths were constructed.
Many in our country don’t know there are other henges either, like Durrington Walls, and Woodhenge in Wiltshire, and Arbor Low in Derbyshire. The site at Blink Mead is thought to be at least 9500 years old.
Some are even bigger in area or size, like superhenge under 3 feet of soil at Durrington Walls. It is five times bigger than Stonehenge. I doubt many here in the US know of Avebury either.
The ditch and stone circles of Avebury were constructed between 2600 and 2400 BC on approximately 28 acres, but estimates also think the first people started around 3000 BC. The estimate on Stonehenge is around 2500 BC, which makes Stonehenge possibly a tad later.
Avebury is the largest, above ground stone circle in Britain, with about 100 original stones. The largest circle encloses two smaller stone circles. These Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial sites were formed as a vast sacred landscape. Avebury Henge is also a World Heritage Site.
I prefer the more atmospheric Avebury, with its peaceful village setting, to the congested tourist site at Stonehenge. Avebury Henge is spaciously spread out around quaint Avebury Village. It also is surrounded by grazing sheep which gives it such a pastoral feel. Avebury has a much different feel to it than hectic Stonehenge, even though Stonehenge is also surrounded by sheep. You can see just how busy Stonehenge is in an image above.
So Americans, what did I tell you that you did not know?