Bath is beautiful despite mouldy hot springs

Oh, I just found out in Wikipedia that the reason why all the buildings in the city of Bath have the same colour is because they are all made of the same material called Bath Stone!

 

Bath

 

It’s an oolitic limestone which the Romans mined around that region from the first century AD. They liked using it for buildings because it was easy to work with and had an attractive golden colour. So, then, after that, the stone got its official nickname as Bath Stone when the city was named.

More trivia: Buckingham Palace was made of Bath Stone.

So, anyway, I suppose the most famous things in Bath are the natural hot springs which had been used since the Stone Age by various civilisations. The Romans were the first to erect massive buildings around the springs.

 

Roman Bath

 

You have to pay £12 to enter the premises but it’s so beautiful inside I suppose it’s worth it. The bath waters are pretty disgusting, though, green and mouldy with a film of oil on top, although you can’t see that clearly from my photo.

But the architecture is so amazing. I would have so loved to have visited it when I was doing Classical Studies at uni. Would have been a lot more exciting then, when I could still read Latin and remember the history.

 

Roman Bath

 

Roman Bath

 

Roman Bath

 

Roman Bath

 

Piers and I tried to dare each other to touch the water and there was a moment I thought I was going to, but it was so disgusting I just couldn’t. He didn’t, either.

I’m so glad now that we didn’t, because I just read in Wiki that a girl died in 1979 five days after swimming in it, from amoebic meningitis.

No idea what that is but the water is considered unsafe because it still passes through original lead pipes from Roman times and is thought to be radioactive and full of infectious diseases.

Eeee.

They do serve safe versions of the spring water in the restaurant and people drink it for multiple health benefits.

I bought a bottle from the gift shop. Not supposed to be drunk but it says you can rub it on your skin.

Not going to!!!

 

Roman Bath

 

There were these three costumed people wandering around the perimeter of the main bath, pretending to be Romans as they struck up conversations with tourists.

 

Roman Bath

 

The older woman is a high status lady of leisure. The girl is her slave and the old man is a peddler.

Because I was there taking photos of them, the older lady started talking to me, telling me about her life and her husband, and then tried to flirt with Piers, asking him how she looked.

She then tried to tease us about getting married or something.

It was hilarious. Kind of a nice personal touch of history.

 

Roman Bath

 

Okay, now, a quick look inside. There’s a museum section showing artifacts and ruins and video simulations.

 

Roman Bath

 

Gravestone of Antigonus, veteran of the 20th Legion:

 

Roman Bath

 

Roman curses:

 

Roman Bath

 

Apparently, most curses were for some theft or other, with the curse writer begging the goddess to help them get back their stolen stuff and punish the thief in horrible ways.

 

Roman Bath

 

Roman Bath

 

Ruins of the foyer to the Temple of Aquae Sulis (Waters of Sulis). The TV screen shows how the area you’re seeing used to look like before it was destroyed:

 

Roman Bath

 

The Roman bathing routine – undress, then to warm room to acclimatise, then hot bath, then sauna, then massage and cleaning, then cold bath:

 

Roman Bath

 

There are a lot more stuff I can’t show because I got tired of taking photos, haha, and there are also guided tours and shows which we couldn’t be bothered to attend because we wanted to get out and see the rest of Bath.

The rest of Bath is lovely, as you will now see in the following photos. It could have been a lot lovelier if the weather had been nicer. Was a bit gloomy and overcast the day we were there.

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

The famous Royal Crescent, a row of 30 houses joined together in a crescent shape:

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Okay, enough pictures!

After two days in Bath, on our drive home, we passed by a small town to stop for a bite to eat and I was struck by how ugly an average town looked in comparison to Bath, with its matching architecture.

If I had gone into that town before visiting Bath, I might have thought it was quite nice (since it’s a small English town and therefore still novel to me).

But after Bath, everything else looked mismatched and plain.

It made me want to go back to Bath to re-appreciate the beauty by looking at it with enlightened eyes.

So, if you ever go to Bath, remember to appreciate the beauty while you’re still there!

Rude shock in Bath

The first thing you’ll notice about the city of Bath is that all the buildings in the entire city are the same colour.

It’s a really novel experience, like you’ve stepped into some fairytale village.

You’ll get an idea from the photos in this post (and the next). They’re all a creamy tan colour, sporting dark brown roofs, just like this pretty cottage we stayed in.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Piers wanted to take me somewhere nice for my last weekend in England, so he booked a night in Garston Cottage, a Bed and Breakfast situated about 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre.

It houses about six rooms, with a shared living room and dining area. Really lovely. We got a bedroom with attached bathroom for £60 a night.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Garston Cottage

 

The shared space is really warm and cosy but I don’t think anyone really hangs out there. Guests would most likely be out catching the pretty sights in the city.

You don’t see any guests or even the owners of the house until breakfast time, when everyone eats a hearty home cooked breakfast at the table together (cereal, fruit salad and full English breakfast).

So homely!

 

Garston Cottage

 

Garston Cottage

 

When I first saw our bedroom, I wondered why there were so many beds. We had four bed spaces.

“Are we expecting company?” I asked Piers.

But he didn’t reply because he was already fast asleep on one of the beds after a two-hour drive early in the morning.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Garston Cottage

 

I’m kidding. He didn’t really fall asleep. He very diligently started reading brochures in order to plan our day in Bath.

 

Garston Cottage

 

What he really said was, “Only the best for my princess.”

He had gotten us the biggest room in the house!

Okay, he didn’t really say those exact words. I can’t remember what he said, actually, but he can be very sweet. When he’s not being naughty and pretending to be mean. Which can be quite often.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Love the little towel elephants on the beds!

You can see one beside Piers in the above photo but I think he mangled it up a bit while lying there.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Or maybe I was the one who did it.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Or whatever.

It was a really nice room. Wished I could lounge around in it all day, but then we had to go sightseeing and look at mouldy old Roman baths. And I had to find out what the fuss was about the city of Bath.

Many people had told me I MUST visit Bath and many people turned out to be right.

Bath is so beautiful!

Although, actually, our first two hours was a bit shocking because the first four people we encountered in a row were quite rude!

 

#1

First was someone from Garston Cottage. Dunno the owner or someone. He had just come out of the “office” next to the living room when we were just about to leave the cottage and were figuring out where the bus stop was.

Piers said hi to him and he just kinda grunted a reply. Piers then asked where the bus stop was and he kinda said a bit curtly, “Down the road.”

But then he said something about losing a wallet, and he was kinda like looking for stuff, and Piers said he was on the phone or something, so I suppose that’s forgivable.

 

Garston Cottage

 

#2

Bus driver. I said hi to him but he didn’t respond and didn’t even smile back!

The bus drivers I met in Bournemouth always said hi and smiled even before I did. =(

By the way, bus stops in Bath are really cute!

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

#3

On our way into the city centre on the bus, we passed by an Apple shop, so we quickly got off the bus so Piers could ask if they had any iPad 2s.

The guy in the shop was really unfriendly and haughty! He was, like, “There’s no way you can get an iPad 2 now.”

So different from the guys in the Bournemouth town centre Apple shop. We went in there many days consecutively asking for the iPad 2 and they never once got impatient with us.

 

Bath

 

#4

We had lunch at this rowdy pub and when we were served our food, Piers helped me ask if they had sweet chilli sauce and the waiter just curtly said, “No,” and walked away.

They had food items on the menu accompanied by sweet chilli sauce and I had thought it would be nice to get some for my fries.

Anyway, we had a lousy lunch because the food wasn’t so good and the table next to us was so noisy. These three women and a man were half-drunk and laughing and talking too loud.

 

Bath

 

Luckily, all these mean people were consolidated in our first two hours. Thereafter, everyone else we met were nice, so that made it easy for me to forgive the city and write the first two hours off as a fluke.

Okay, I had planned to do the entire Bath in one post, but it’s getting so long already and I haven’t even really started on the attractions. LOL. Have to do it in the next post cos I have loads more photos!

Here are just a few more random ones to wrap up.

 

The view outside our window:

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Around the neighbourhood:

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

First views of the city centre:

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Roman baths in the next post, and more creamy tan buildings!

Hello from Bath

I just found out that the City of Bath (in England) has more than 60 churches. Is that crazy or what?

Here’s one we bumped into today as we randomly walked around the city. We didn’t have time to really look at it, so I had to google its name after we got back to our hotel at night.

 

Bath Abbey

 

Luckily, it’s one of the more famous churches in Bath, so I found it easily. It’s called Bath Abbey and it was founded in 1499, although the very original church that stood on that spot was built in the 8th Century.

SO OLD.

I love old buildings.

Bath has so much history and is really beautiful. I wish we could stay here for more days, but we’re only here for a night so can’t see much.

Oh, well, maybe next time.