Thursday, July 06, 2006

England Day 2: Bed, Bath and Beyond

Right, a return to the trip! Sorry for the delay...
As I recall, when we last spoke we were hunting for our hotel room in the lovely city of Bath. We were tired. We hadn't eaten. We had no map. It took us well over an hour to find our hotel room. Tempers were flaring, but we made it, and then ate dinner at a lovely Italian place with 4 waiters for each diner (were we eating really early? No. Not sure why there was such a huge waitstaff). This was our first experience with the need to order tap water instead of just asking for a glass of water, after asking for water got us a large bottle of still water that cost about $6. Should've seen that one coming, having made the same mistake in Europe before, but I was tired. C'est la vie.
The next morning we got up early. Very early, since we were apparently next to a dance club that opened its windows at about 2:00am. Thankfully we went back to sleep and got up at a reasonable hour and headed off to breakfast and then to find the Roman Baths. We walked in a fairly roundabout way to get there from the hotel, and it was only on the way back that we discovered our hotel was in fact quite well placed near the city center. Anyway. We saw this:
This is the main bath at the Baths. The water comes from a geothermal spring off behind the upper right corner of this photo, and the waters were believed to have healing properties. The Romans built a huge temple here as well as the baths themselves (everything from the pillars up in the photo, including the very Roman-looking statues, was built by the Victorians after having been buried for centuries). From the Baths you can also get a lovely view of Bath Abbey:
Bath Abbey is beautiful. This was our first (of many) large churches, and one of the best. I had been to Bath before, and since this is right at the Roman Baths I have no idea how I missed it, but I honestly don't really remember seeing it. Then again, there is so much to see everywhere that you just get overwhelmed. Here is an inside shot:

After this we walked around a bit, explored the riverfront, and then had our first pub lunch, complete with pints of beer, which my dad is convinced aided his driving immensely (he might be right on this, honestly). Then we left Bath and headed to...

Ah, you thought I was done. But it's occurred to me that I'm never going to get done with this whole trip retrospective thing in a decent amount of time (too late?) if I don't cover more than one place a day...

From Bath we went here:

This is Tintern Abbey, in South Wales. Not to be confused with Knockturn Alley (Harry Potter fans?). Obviously it has seen better days, but it was really neat. I like places where you're allowed to wander around at will, exploring and climbing over stuff. This building is pretty much intact aside from the roof (which was wood) and the windows (which were stolen/destroyed). It's actually huge, the photos don't really do justice to the scale of the place. There was a wedding party taking photos there, which was pretty cool.

From there we meant to stay in Wales (we were going to spend a night in Wales, but we were on the eastern edge already and well, it didn't happen), but we ended up driving back into England and headed up to Shrewsbury, which I will discuss at length tomorrow. The World Cup was on, and the US was playing Italy. So we went to an Italian restaurant!

Oh, I've been knitting! I'm almost done with the stuffed bear for Paula's baby. Just the arms and ears left, and a good thing, since the baby shower is this Sunday. Nothing like waiting until the last minute...And I've been working on the Clapotis while I watch the Tour de France every morning. So things are moving along, but I really should some up with something purple for Project Spectrum...

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