Happy Travel Tuesday everyone! I feel like I’m finally getting back into the office groove after a few short weeks in a row. I tell ya, those short weeks can be a blessing and a curse! Over this past weekend I finally got serious about tagging my photos now that they’re all in one spot. While doing so, I came across so many fond memories, including a trip out to Glastonbury during a work-study stay during law school. Glastonbury is a small town in Somerset, England known for its annual festival as well as its myths and legends.
I must admit that when I insisted on making the pilgrimage out to Glastonbury (which it sort of was given my dependence on public transport) I only knew about the Tor that dominates the skyline. It was only once I arrived that I discovered the associations with the Holy Grail and King Arthur.
Tor is a local word of Celtic origin meaning “conical hill.” I first heard about this mystical place on a History channel special about “energetic spiritual places,” such as Sedona, Arizona and Machu Picchu, Peru. The St. Michael’s ley-line passes through Glastonbury Tor and is “marked” by St. Michael’s Tower, which sits at the pinnacle. I won’t attempt to explain the concepts and meanings behind all this, but suffice it to say I was intrigued. I suppose some people would label it all a bit “New Age,” but I find any kind of religious mythology/history fascinating (even if I adhere strictly to nothing in particular).
Once I arrived in Glastonbury I discovered that the Tor (apparently) had been called the “Isle of Avalon” by the Britons and is believed by some to be the Avalon of Arthurian legend. There are several other sites in the area linking Glastonbury to Avalon, but I’ll save those for next week. The Tor has also been associated with the first Lord of the Underworld (Gwyn ap Nudd, Celtic mythology) as well as the King of the Faeries.
So is it a magical place? I don’t know that magical is the right word, but it certainly gives off an old-in-an-ancient-sort-of-way vibe. The most popular place I can think to compare it to would be Stonehenge. You get the feeling that something happened there that left its mark on the atmosphere. Even if you believe in none of this or detest such theories, the Tor is still a beautiful climb and a worthy place for sitting in the air while reading a book (as my trip companion can attest). If you are interested in more background on the Tor’s myths and legends, I strongly encourage you to have a little pow wow with Google – and to take most sites with a grain of salt. The sheer variety of tales ensures that there’s a little something for [almost] anyone (smile).