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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
Okay, now, a quick look inside. There’s a museum section showing artifacts and ruins and video simulations.
Gravestone of Antigonus, veteran of the 20th Legion:
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.
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:
The Roman bathing routine – undress, then to warm room to acclimatise, then hot bath, then sauna, then massage and cleaning, then cold 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.
The famous Royal Crescent, a row of 30 houses joined together in a crescent shape:
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!