Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bath Time!

Bath Abbey, situated immediately to the right of a
place where you can get ice cream and champagne.
Allo lads and lasses,

Welcome to a very special edition of my observations.  You see since moving to Paris, I’ve really not travelled a lot.  Some might say that I’m paying too much rent, others that my champagne bills are too high.  The fact of the matter is, that I’ve been so engrossed in the city that I really haven’t thought too look around too much.  Well, that doesn’t mean that I’m incapable and I’ll tell you what I did. 

I went to Bath… the legendary city with the endlessly flowing natural hot springs.  It was built up by the Romans way back in the day, though legend has it that people have been taking baths there for thousands and thousands of years.  I enjoyed such a bath a few weeks ago. 

Here’s what I observed:

Transportation:  The most amazing thing about getting to Bath is that I left at about 8am and arrived a little after noon.  I caught the metro to Gare du Nord and from there it was a 2.5 hour ride to London through the famed Chunnel.  I did not try to send any secret codes to anyone at the instant we were going through the Chunnel and to be honest, had I not been watching, I wouldn’t have noticed when we went into it.
This lady was the first historical
thing I saw in bath while walking
to the hotel.

  • Another tube ride from London’s St. Pancras took me to Paddington Station where I caught the train to Bath.  This train seemed slower than the French trains…. but really, it was only an hour or so and there I was.  Getting off the train, I found a visitor’s bureau right there in the station.
  • The Visitor’s Bureau directed me to the hotel with a map, suggesting I should walk.  Walk???  Yes ,my hotel was less than 3 blocks away.  We stowed our gear and were in the center of the city in no time.

Tourist Sites:  OK, Bath is not a big place.  In the center of town near the Roman bath ruins they do free city-walk tours.  It lasts a little over an hour and you get to see the main sites of the city with a friendly explanation.  It’s a bit of a snoozefest, but I learned a lot about the economy of a town with a hot spring.

The Roman Baths.  This building is of course
not even sort of Roman, but trust me,
there's Roman stuff inside.

  • The Roman baths themselves are housed in a Victorian brick building.  They are kind of nifty and feature several interactive displays, that explain what light was probably like in Roman occupied times.  You can’t actually use the baths, however, this is expressly for Romans. 

  • If you want to take a bath yourself, there is the Thermae Bath Spa.  It’s a very modern facility fed by the natural spa waters.  They have a rooftop pool, a basement grotto pool, steam rooms, foot-baths, a restaurant and a treatment center for massages and all manner of lotion rubbing.  You have to book ahead for massages as you’d be very lucky to get that just as a walk-in.  The pools and baths and steam rooms are super-cool, however and if I lived near Bath, I could go there every day, I’m sure.

Inside the Roman Baths.  I detected a few Roman accents while
investigating... I kid you not!

This is a cool display inside the Roman Baths explaining the layout.

Vampires:  Vampires don’t like water.  The spa is the safest place in the world that you could be.

City Life:  The rest of Bath is very village-like.  The center of town is closed to vehicle traffic and there are a lot of interesting one-of-a-kind shops.  My favourite had champagne and ice-cream.

A gorgeous river scene.  I was lucky to get very good weather.

This is the 18th century Pulteny Bridge.  It's a favourite site for painters and
gives spectators something to google if they haven't googled in a while.
  • Because the whole town is a UNESCO heritage site, the buildings and apartments there are rather expensive to own and maintain.  The populace is therefore somewhat more… well-kept than you’d normally see in a village this size.

Perhaps the second most famous structure in Bath is the Royal Crescent.
Don't even ask how much an apartment is to rent here.
Well that's all from Bath and that's all from me.  Don't forget to share or comment or click on my poll.  See you all back real soon!

Sir Robyn


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