26 July 2011

When in Bath...

Hearing: Two people chatting - they don't seem to be able to grasp the concept of a "quiet carriage"
I'm on a train on my way back to London from Bath where i have just spent a day walking around and seeing the sights. Out of the window fields, hills and farmhouses rush by. Cow laze together while sheep graze away on some very green grass which contrasts with the honey-brown colour of the fields of wheat.
Arriving in Bath around 10am this morning my first stop was the Jane Austen Centre. Although i know that Jane did not enjoy living in Bath & that it affected her writing, she is still the main reason behind my trip.

After the Jane Austen Centre i spent some time exploring, taking photos and just being a typical tourist. I walked to the Circus (not one with clowns but a set of houses built around a circular road), and the famous Royal Crescent where one house is currently on the market for a cool 3.5million pounds...that's about 5.2million dollars. Lots of people were enjoying the sun in the park in front of it and painters and artists were out trying to capture that magic glow of the stone when lit by sunlight.

The Royal Crescent
I walked past all the known Jane Austin residences including 13 Queen Square, 25 Gay St, 4 Sydney Place, i even took a walk in the Sydney Gardens where she often walked. To get to Sydney Place and Gardens you need to cross to the other side of the river Avon. I went via Pulteney Bridge (very cute i might add) and on the way back ducked down a little side staircase to scope out a little maze called Beazer Maze. And it was not just for kids as several adults took up the challenge to find their way to the middle.

Sydney Gardens
Sydney Park
Beazer Maze

Pulteney Bridge
Pulteney Bridge from the river

Back in the centre of Bath i meandered through the many lane ways and cute stores, a warm cheese and veg pasty in hand, while waiting for the Mayor tour to start. The tour is run by volunteers and runs for about 2 hours. It was well worth it, i always enjoy hearing the little bits of history that i wouldn't normally come across on my own. The guide told us about how Bath was founded (originally by the Romans), how it was lost and then discovered again after it had been built over, how it grew into the social city in history most people hear about, where the original city walls were and all the architectural quirks that can be found...if you know where to look.

The tour ended back at the Bath Abbey Churchyard and left me with just enough time to check out/rush through the Roman Baths before heading back to the station to catch my train. Unfortunately the Roman Baths are no longer in use and are just an exhibit but there is a brand new fancy Spa facility just down the road.
The Roman Baths (left) and Pump Room (right)
Bath Abbey
Roman Bath
The Roman baths natural spring
The Roman baths cold plunge pool - now a wishing well for some

Me! And the Roman baths ground level

I do wish that i had a bit more time for a cream tea in the pretty Pump Room and a narrow boat ride along the Avon, but still, I'm happy i managed to get to the main points of interest and the weather was very nice and warm...all in all, a pretty good day! :)


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