Bath, England


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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Somerset » Bath
July 19th 2010
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Geo: 51.3814, -2.35745

Bath, England

We got to the city of Bath about 9:15 a.m. (Now before you read any further, be warned. I grew up in my teen age years reading nothing but Georgian and Regency novels. I loved that time period and still do to this day. So, for this segment of my blog I may be a tad more exuberant in my descriptions of the sights.) The Romans transformed Bath, located in the Avon valley, into England's first spa resort and it regained fame as a spa town in the 18th century. We took a driving tour after a quick photo op of the Royal Crescent (which Dylan kept calling the Royal Terrace, which was the name of our hotel in Edinburgh). The Royal Crescent has 30 houses side-by-side that forms a graceful arc and was built between 1767-1774. Only the very wealthy lived there. Now, most of the 5 levels of the houses are either businesses or apartments, which sell for about £ 500,00 ($750,000). Our walking tour of the Roman baths began in the Roman Baths Museum. We received out departure time from Dylan (12:15 p.m. yeah!!) and then the museum handed out self guided audio tour handsets
(yeah!!). So I got to spend as much time as I wanted where I wanted. The open-air Great Bath, was built in the 1st century, but not discovered until the 1870s. Around the edges of the bath are late 19th century statues of famous Romans. No one is allowed to touch the untreated water. The water flows from the spring into the corner of the bath at a constant temperature of 115° F. Like most ruins, many pieces are gone due to people over the centuries using the stones to build other buildings in the area. However, this museum took what was left and gave a fabulously wealth of information through the use of design and technology. After the tour one could grab a bite to eat or have something to drink in the Pump Rooms. These tearooms once formed the social hub of the 18th century spa community. People used to come to Bath from London to the supposedly curative powers of the waters. The urn and fish decorated drinking fountain was available, so I tried a small amount of the water. I had read plenty of Regency Romance novels to know that the waters are not that pleasant tasting. The very warm water (they actually cool the water from the spring before serving it) had a mild metallic after taste. I ended up spending an hour in there and that was only because I rushed through many sections. To really see everything in the museum one needed to spend at least 2 hours there or in my case I need the whole day and night to enjoy everything in Bath. After leaving the museum I was able to immediately catch an hop-on/hop-off tour bus. It was a nice sunny warm day to tour the city in an open air bus. We traveled around parts of the city that Dylan had shown us on our regular tour bus. The big difference between the two buses, is that you can see above you. So, I got some better pictures of places that I didn't have previously. We passed some buildings where they windows were taken out and bricked over during the 1700's due to the window tax. People were taxed based on how many windows their places had. So to get around the tax, many people just got rid of the windows, but painted the outside of the wall to make it look like a window is still there. Hence the saying “daylight robbery.” I got off at the Jane Austen Centre, which was a two story building up the street from the actual residence that she lived in for a while. It was too late to get on the guided tour of the upstairs. But after reading the brochure of the place, I am glad that I didn't take the tour. Based on the brochure, the exhibitions were mostly reproductions and then you got to have tea. Downstairs where you paid for the tour in the gift shop was very small. Most of the items you could purchase were either novels written by Jane Austen or items relating to Colin Firth's portrayal of Dr. Darcy. A couple of ladies from my tour group also had shown up and were requesting a refund of the admission that they had just purchased. They hadn't realized that they would not have time to take the tour and get back to the bus on time. I left after purchasing one novel for a couple of pounds and a postcard. I was able to take the next hop-on/hop-off bus as I stayed in the gift shop for just about 10 minutes. I finished the tour of the city and saw some places that we had not seen with Dylan. I went into a Chocolate Shop that offered coffee/tea/hot chocolate and chocolate confectionery for sale. Along with the normal chocolate candies, they had on display for sale, chocolate penises (white or dark chocolate choices)!! I have seen chocolate penises before but that was at a shop specializing in racy shaped chocolate. This was displayed right as you walked in the store. They also had breasts made out of chocolate in the store window, which I had not noticed before entering the store. After purchasing some chocolate (no not the penis), I went back to where some of the members of my tour group was sitting. Lee and two of the older ladies were sitting there. I told them about it. Lee actually went in and bought a pre-boxed one to give to his partner back in Australia. He showed it to the ladies who wanted to see what it looked like. The laughed, but told him to quickly put it away. Unfortunately, it was time to leave. I hadn't really seen the gardens by the river nor the various shops along the bridge. Hopefully, I will be back some day to stay all day and night here.


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