Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Bath in Bath

Bath was about an hour away from Stonehenge. We drove through several quaint, tiny villages, complete with thatch roofed cottages, pig farms, and 300 year old pubs.
A pig farm...at least they are happy, free range pigs before they become bacon!
 People drive REALLY fast here, and couple the fast driving with loopy, poorly made roads and a love for braking 24/7, and you have a carsick Christina!  Usually Daniel is immune to this, but this time, the bus ride there made him feel really terrible. As soon as we arrived to Bath, we hightailed it to a pharmacy to get some medicine.
We spent about 20 minutes just finding medicine. I knew we only had 3 hours to spend in Bath and really wanted to see as much as possible, and that really didn't happen. We will have to go back and visit, next time on train!

Since Daniel was feeling like death, we decided to find a restaurant to sit down at for awhile until he felt better. I found Tilley's on Tripadvisor and it was great! Poor Daniel just had tea, but I ate enough for the 2 of us. They had a 3 course prixe fixe meal for only 16 pounds. I started with a roasted avocado with bacon and cream sauce appetizer, then had sautéed chicken with mushrooms, and ended with Italian bread pudding. Daniel started feeling well enough to share the bread pudding with me. It was all delicious!
Bath Abbey
We spent half our time in Bath at the restaurant. Although the food was outstanding, it was a little disappointing spending all of our time at one place, but I wouldn't have enjoyed running around the city with a sick baby (and he surely wouldn't have enjoyed it, either).   

Bath was founded by Romans in AD 60. It is now a world heritage site and every building is made of the gorgeous Bath limestone stone. Most of the buildings were built in the 1700's and was thought of as the "New Rome" in England. The main thing I wanted to do was tour the Roman Baths.
The city is on top of hot springs that are believed to have healing powers. The water in the Roman Bath is from the springs. It is 114 degrees and about 250,000 gallons rise daily. It was built in 300 ad, but they have changed dramatically since then.

View while you are at the top of the bath.
A lot of the Bath has been reconstructed. The top part was rebuilt in the 1800's to look like it would have in the Roman times. However, the actually Bath is the same.


A surprising amount of Roman artifacts from the bath are displayed inside. Unfortunately, because of the long line and amount of time we spent at lunch, we only had about an hour to speed through the museum. I would have loved to have had time for an audio tour- maybe next time! I did learn that a lot of the stones with writing on it were called Curse Stones...they literally cursed those who would steal other's clothing while they were bathing. I wonder if they worked?
Waterfall of the rushing spring water inside the Bath

The water looks a little radioactive, and with good reason. The pipes are made out of lead and traces of amoeba are found in the water. Of course, that didn't stop all of the visitors from touching the hot mineral water.  

Me being a rebel, touching the water by the sign that advices me not to. This was before I knew that I could catch meningitis or lead poisoning.
As I said earlier, the Bath was thought to have had healing powers. An infertile Queen Mary was advised to swim in the bath to become pregnant. She did, and became pregnant that same month! So, I both touched the water AND drank some filtered water from the spring (it tasted very metallic)...maybe that, coupled with me touching the blue stone of Stonehenge, will have a similar effect? I hope not,  I don't want to have to go to Stonehenge and Bath every time I want a baby!

The King's private bath
After the Roman Bath tour, we just walked around the city a bit until we had to board our bus. It really is a gorgeous city and we wished we were spending the whole weekend there. The uniformity of the buildings paired with the lush, green surroundings makes it so different from London. It felt more like Paris to me than an English city!


We made it to the bus right on time and I slept pretty much the whole way back to London. Thankfully, Daniel was feeling better and we made it home safely.

If you were to come to London and wanted to take a trip to see another city, I would recommend Bath over any other English city we have been to. It is just a 90 minute train ride away, and it drops you off right in the city (vs going to the countryside, where you would need a car most likely to get to your destination). There's a lot to do, with the abbey, bath, spas, and shops. Unlike York, it just looks really different from London, too.

Thanks for reading! If you've been to England, any other English cities we should go to? We will take a day trip to Cambridge soon- I've heard so many great things about it.



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