Yesterday, Danda and I went to Bath for the day. I had a day off work and neither of us have ever been so it seemed like a fun day out. We had a minor panic when one of the tube lines we needed to use wasn’t operating but we found another way without a problem.
After arriving in Bath, we just kind of wandered up a road in front of us, looking at stuff. There is lovely Georgian brickwork on all the buildings and there are an awful lot of shops. We stopped off briefly to get me a hat as it was pretty cold then came unexpectedly across this….
It is the building containing the new outdoor pool which uses the hot water from the thermal springs. It reminded me a bit of being in Rome, where the buildings and streets are beautiful and grand and you stumble upon fabulous things round every corner.
We decided to come back to the Thermae Bath Spa, which was opposite the outdoor pool, in the afternoon. For now, we wanted breakfast, which we found nearby, and the Roman Baths. We knew the Roman Baths were near Bath Abbey so we wandered down some side roads looking for the Abbey. After a little while, we found a tourist map and spent a few minutes looking on it trying to work out where we were and where the Abbey was.
“It’s just up the road,” declared Danda, having used his manly skills to deduce the correct direction. Then we looked out from behind the map and realised…
…we were practically standing in front of the rather large Abbey, looking at a map, trying to work out how to get to the Abbey … Fail.
Inside Bath Abbey is spectacular.
It is large and covered in carved stones memorialising Bath’s lost loved ones. Some were young men leading Indian regiments into battle against opposition in Afghanistan. It’s quite an odd concept to get my head around, these young men dying in such far flung corners of the worlds in wars that are long forgotten now.
Then there was this stone which challenged my existing ideas about what makes love so special…
As we left, I saw a sign saying the Abbey coats £2000 a day to run! Crazy.
Second stop, Roman Baths. Amazing amazing amazing. They are the UK’s only natural spa and literally steamed as we watched them…..
It was a work of engineering genius to see. My awe at the achievements of these people grows with each new thing I learn. The stones and coins and carvings on display here are fantastic. So many and so well explained. There was even a skeleton of a Syrian man found here.
Whilst at the main pool, I had a little feel of the water for a photo ..
…then noticed a sign sternly informing visitors that touching of the water is not allowed! Don’t tell!
After dawdling about here for ages being amazed, we decided to head for the spa and have a dip. On the way we stopped to watch a street performer display possibly the strongest arms I have ever seen.
We then headed to the spa and got in the queue. It was 3.15pm. We were still in the queue at half three and had our hearts set on a relaxing swim and sauna. 3.45pm arrived. 4pm. We were getting closer but veeerrry slowly. 4.15pm. We’d been in the queue an hour. It suddenly sped up and we had hope. Then it slowed and we lost hope. But we were so close by this point. It would have been silly to give up. 4.30pm. 4.45pm. Slowly. Slowly. Then suddenly a little flurry and it was our turn. Finally. At 4.50pm. An hour and 35 minutes after joining the queue. My toes were extremely cold by now and I just needed some hot water to defrost them.
We practically ran in, threw our clothes at the lockers and ran off to the rooftop pool. Plunging into it, the icy toes and nose and fingers melted immediately. Although we were outside, on the top of a four storey building, with a view of Bath for miles around, we were in a huge lovely hot bath. It was awesome. We swam to the edges and looked through the glass sides at the town and the beautiful Georgian architecture and the hills behind. It was surreal.
We had to run out of here as the fresh cold air hit us and we descended the stairs to the steam rooms. Inside there was a massive forceful power shower in the centre and four round glass rooms. You could enter any one of them and sit on the benches inside. They each had a different smell in the steam. There was lemongrass and ginger, lotus flower, eucalyptus and mint and sandalwood. I liked the lemongrass the best. In between each room, we power showered to wake ourselves up. Lastly, we went down to a pool where the water was warm and welcoming and had a jacuzzi in one corner and a little corridor with power jets pushing you through from one end to other. It was a little crowded but still lovely. After a second visit to the steam room, we then had to change out of our swimming gear and into outdoor clothes as our train was leaving in half an hour, hence the massive rush.
We got to the station in plenty of time and I finished the day sitting by the cafe drinking lemon and ginger tea, eating a flapjack and reading Wonderpedia, my new favourite magazine.
All in all, a wonderful day. I can fully recommend it.