I started my day at the top of Glastonbury Tor Hill. I have to say that the climb up was very worth while. The 360 panoramic view is breathtaking and even more so with a disgruntled sky. I guess you could visit the Tor in clear blue sky days or even in the pouring rain and still be awe inspired by the dizzy heights and views. The closest experience I have had with this is the Wallace Monument at Stirling, however i have to say that the views from Tor hill are far superior in terms of distance. Your line of sight is not hampered and the horizon can be observed fully by 360 degrees. Truly worth the climb and had i not been dressed slightly inappropriately (shorts and T-shirt) then i guess a picnic and fine book would have passed the time away.
After parking the car in an off street car park I followed the signs to the high street which took me through a small alleyway lined on both sides with tiny shops, instantly I found myself immersed in the spiritual and earthly atmosphere of Glastonbury.
The shops on either side of the alley way consisted of small jewellery shops, incense retailers and colourful clothing and pictures, it was almost like stepping into a fairy tale land of pixie, elf’s witches and wizards. The smells that surrounded me as I walked through the alleyway reminded me of my days as a rebel teenager smoking weed in my friend’s bedroom whilst listening to Pink Floyd.
The alley way led out into the high street which was alive with people of all ages and fashion styles the more prominent fashion was of course the stereo typical hippy look with long hair big boots funky coloured clothes, some looked like they had more important energy to invest in their souls than their appearance. Yes your typical tree hugging peace making hippy but I am not sure these guys would appreciate a label as such these days.
The shops on the high street resembled the shops you would see from a scene in Lord of the rings or Harry Potter. Shops full of spiritual ornaments colourful clothing gifts shops full of meditation and chilling out methods. There were music shops but not with pianos and guitars but with hand drums, chimes, weird wooden wind instruments and various things for shaking and rattling.
I spoke to an Indian furniture dealer who imports old and reclaimed furniture. He cleans and restores the most amazing collection of cupboards boxes , chairs and even beds and much more. I gained a real sense of spiritual mood about Glastonbury, it seems to be the hub for love and peace and of course the strange, for example not so strange but a couple of guys sat on the street playing the hang drum and guitar and one of the other guys was just waving a stick with strings which made a swishing noise. I stopped to listen to the guys for a while and was then startled by a loud whining noise, oh it was only a man walking his Shetland pony up and down the high street and if that wasn’t strange enough he stopped at the bank machine with his horse to take out a tenner…..Oh my god!
I walked a little further back down the high street passing numerous windows advertising tarot card readings and various therapies. I went into a clothing shop just to see the vast selections of new age clothing and it was whilst I browsed it hit me………am I missing something here ……I felt fairly detached from a seemingly earthly world of peace love and spiritualism and it wasn’t until i listened to some of the people interact with one another that I instantly felt like an outsider. Is this what this movement is all about a group or cult style way of living, I felt that the way the communicated with one another was on a level of basic, almost spaced out chat which left me wondering if this is a genuine style or one which is forced to suit the facade.
I’m not sure everyone is like this. I’m not even sure whether I get it. If we all went around just doing our art and living by basic needs would there be any progress ……these shops still sell to these people and these people buy from them a style and way of life which in my eyes is slightly contradicting. My impression was that this way of life was self-sufficient and non commercial or refuted the recognition of globalisation. A part of me is curious are these guys smarter than me have they journeyed further spiritually than me, have they found an inner peace beyond anything I have yet experienced. I sit in cafe writing this and drinking a cashew hot chocolate with the option of cinnamon and spice (Yes I like to try it the different way). I am sitting by the window looking out to the high street watching the very many different people dodging into shops out of the rain.
The high street is like any other high street I guess, cars are driving up and down people are coming and going, what makes this place different is probably because it signifies a sort of place of pilgrimage for those new age types. It is in fact the home of the hippy festival and I guess the town has embraced this …..it has made itself the place of pilgrimage offering what the very new age people like or the wannabes want to become more new age and spiritual. It is fair to say though that this place is full of like-minded people …..there is something that exists in some of these people something I can’t understand…..i am curious ….like a child …..want to see what it would be like to be in this gang……..what am I missing here?Google maps