Sunday, December 7, 2008

Taking a Bath

Yesterday, Teriann and I took a day trip to Bath, a little town an hour and a half (by train) west of London known for its Roman history (it's the site of an enormous Roman bath house complex and the only natural hot springs in Britain) and uniformly-colored off-white buildings (all built from the local stone). Here's the quaint, local theatre,


some stairs leading to nowhere,



and a shirt that's pretty much custom-made for Teriann.


One of the two main attractions is Bath Abbey, an extremely old church in the center of town. It's not as big as Westminster Abbey, but it is very ornate and the large windows in the sides are distinctive and unique. I love how you can see the windows of the other side through the building.



It's also better-than-average as far as enormous old churches go because of its beautiful fan-vaulted roof and because they let you take photos inside, which is very rare.



There's also some quite impressive stained glass,


ornately detailed tombs and memorials,


and this:



The other highlight of the town is the Roman bath house, which was built in the late nineteenth century but is on the site of the original complex from about two thousand years ago. The water is quite warm — straight from the hot spring — and in the cold air, the steam rising off it looks like a special effect.




Hmmm.... what's that between his knee and his cape?


Another statue!



In the afternoon, we went down to the river Avon (as in Stratford-upon-Avon) where Teriann continued her Photographing Wildlife series in fine form.







Sometimes I wonder if there are more ducks, geese, swans, and squirrels than people on this blog.

That evening, we had dinner at a cozy little place called Sally Lunn's. The sign on top says 1680, but I believe it was rebuilt in that year because the sign below says 'circa 1492' which was, I'm guessing, when the hotel/restaurant was first founded.



We followed the warm meal with a cold stroll through the Bath christmas markets around the Abbey. Despite the chill, it was quite festive, and got me in the holiday spirit for the first time this season.





To be honest, Teriann is more of a trooper about the cold than I am. The walk from the middle of town down to the train station was short — couldn't be more than a quarter-mile — but I advocated getting a taxi. Teriann was a soldier though and told me to man up and walk it. So we did.