Friday, December 27, 2013

Flashback Friday: A Day Trip to Bath

So I have decided to start doing "Flashback Friday" posts to trips that I have taken in the past couple of years.
The first of these posts is a day trip to Bath, England that I took this past May while I was visiting friends in London.



After looking at train times the night before, I headed from my hotel in Earl's Court to Paddington Station. While waiting for my train, I picked up breakfast at a food stand that was in the station. I got a plain bagel with cream cheese and an Innocent smoothie as an attempt to have a well-rounded meal.


I took a seat on the train and ate my breakfast while admiring the beautiful English countryside.


I loved riding on the trains while living in London because the countryside is so beautiful. It's completely different to what I grew up seeing in California.
Finally I arrived in Bath! It was raining a little, but I was still able to see the beauty of this ancient city.
The train station is a very short walk from the city center so I was soon at the historic and famous Roman Baths.




Entrance to the Baths range between £12.75-13.50 depending on the time of year, but it is completely worth it! They have done a complete renovation just in the past few years. There is now an amazing museum attached to the Baths which highlights numerous artifacts found during past excavations. 
The Terrace is where you began your journey through the Baths, and it is a beautiful spot to view the city.




At some spots on The Terrace, the Bath Abbey can be seen which makes for a great picture.


As I mentioned there is a great museum attached, and the objects within are fascinating!
This pediment is from one of two known classical temples in Roman Britain. I loved the curation of this classical object because even though it is in pieces, if you wait just a few seconds the pieces are filled in with images of how it would have looked whole.




We are not the only ones who like to throw coins into fountains for good luck! They have coins from throughout the Ancient world that were thrown into the Spring during its heyday.


The Roman plumbing and drainage system is still largely used, and this is the Spring Overflow where surplus water that was not used in the Baths, flows out into the drain. The drain then carries the water to the River Avon which is 400 meters (.248 miles) away.
My goodness those Romans were so smart!






Finally you are at the Great Bath! You can see the steam rising from the water and even feel the heat. It use to be housed within a barrel-vaulted hall, and the niches would have held benches and tables for the bathers.




In contrast with the Great Bath, this rounded pool is filled with cold water. The Ancient Romans would have started with the warm and hot baths, and ended their "bath" at the cold plunge bath.






Of course, I had to stick with tradition and throw my own coin in for good luck! It joined the thousands of others. I hope everyone's wish came true!



Legend has it that the water at the Roman Baths is healing, and they even have little fountains and cups to collect the water to drink.


Cheers!


After touring the Roman Baths, I made my way to Bath Abbey.


The Abbey is of the Gothic style which can be seen in the flying buttress, rose window, the very English style of  fan vaulted ceiling, and the pointed arches.



I love the ceilings in English Gothic Abbeys and Cathedrals. It's completely unique to those seen in mainland Europe.



After touring Bath Abbey, I had to grab some lunch!
I walked around the city center for a bit trying to decide which restaurant or pub to pop into, and then I saw the sign for Loch Fyne. (http://www.lochfyneseafoodandgrill.co.uk/locations/bath)
I had eaten there with my family in Cambridge and greatly enjoyed my meal.  
I had been craving fish and chips that whole day so I quickly made my decision, and I was completely happy!


Too bad I was traveling and could not bring my leftovers back to my hotel because look at how massive that fish is! It was so good!!
After having my fill of fish and chips, I made my way to my final stop of the trip-The Jane Austen Centre.


One of my favorite books is Pride and Prejudice so I knew that I would have to check out The Jane Austen Centre while in Bath.
It cost me £7.20 to enter, and even though it was a great experience, I thought it was a bit pricey for what you actually get.
You start off with a tour guide who gives a great speech about the history of Jane Austen and her involvement with Bath. That was great! Then you are able to mingle around a collection of items that give you an idea of what life would be like in nineteenth century England.


Sadly, there are no real artifacts involving Jane Austen personally. I thought it was going to be like a Jane Austen Museum, but it just did not happen.
Yet, had I known that my ticket gave me a discount at the tea shop on the very top of the building, maybe I would have enjoyed it more.
If you are a big Austen fan like me then it is worth while to check it out, but I would not go in there expecting much.
They do have a great souvenir shop though!


After having a fun filled day at Bath, it was time to head back to London as I was meeting a friend for dinner.
I definitely want to go back and spend more time at the Roman Baths (there were way more pictures then I posted above), and take a walking tour of some type.
I hope you all enjoyed this Flashback Friday post to a great day in Bath, England!

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