Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bath, England

So, now I'm more than a week behind with posting about our trip to England, but getting internet access offshore is far from given. But, I'd like to continue where I left off. The post title is to distinguish the proper noun from the noun, 'cause after a week at sea, the noun it more pressing, but nonetheless, this is about our time in Bath.

en route to Bathen route to Bathen route to Bath

en route to BathGetting out of Salisbury proved a little tricky due to narrow roads, and sharp corners, but we were able to follow our map (yay!) through scenic farmland, stopping at a pub for lunch. When we arrived in Bath, however, we had the misfortune of coincidentally arriving on graduation day. It took an hour to get off the highway and turn into town, because of the traffic jam. Though, we couldn't complain about the view from the hillside, over the town - which appears elegant and Georgian and completely built of sandstone. Then, though we had booked a hotel, we had no map of the city and no idea how to find it. As navigator, I made a series of decisions based on nothing more than instinct about traffic patterns. These were all wrong of course. Nelson's home, in BathOne nice pedestrian tried hard to help us, but it was clear she never drove and though she knew where we wanted to get, she didn't have a sense of how to negotiate the one way streets. So, I hopped out of the car at the first big hotel we saw (not ours) and asked for help. We sadly, turned back towards the traffic jam as directed, but it was much easier to go in the other direction. I was just happy to get off the road, but RJH soundly decided to ask if they had a better room than the one offered with what he described as a 'lumpy camp bed' with decor from the 70's. We were then offered an elegant room with a view, a canopy bed and plenty of room. I must remember that trick.

Nelson's home, in Bath

Roman BathRoman BathRoman Bath
Roman BathRoman Bathartifact, Roman Bath
We went out to explore the town, and headed for the nearby Roman Baths. Entry was a bit pricey and the presentation and free audio tour were a bit corny, but the baths themselves, of course, are quite something to see. I was probably more interested in the geophysics of the hydrothermal system than the average visitor, but I would have preferred to let the Roman artifacts speak for themselves, and was not interested in over-acted reenactments. But it is indeed a fascinating place and you couldn't skip it.

Roman Bath, mineralizationRoman BathRoman Bath
Roman BathRoman BathRoman Bath
Roman BathBath, EnglandBath, England
Pump house, Bath
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We headed next to the adjacent Abbey, where the friendly, elderly man taking donations, asked us where we were from. He then, enthusiastically told us how during the war, there was some damage due to bombing and a Canadian soldier had found some stained glass, which he took home to Toronto. When the soldier's mother asked where it was from, she insisted he send it back, but apparently small pieces of stained glass are easy to replace and it wasn't easy to return, so it's on display in some Anglican church in Toronto.

Abbey, BathAbbey doors in BathAbbey doors in Bath
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Bath, England

We wandered around by the river, and then found some dinner. I convinced RJH that we should take a second leisurely day there, rather than press on and try and see more places.

Bath, EnglandBath, EnglandBath, England
Bath, EnglandBath, England

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