Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bath - Sunday, October 14

This post is a continuation of my Cotswolds Weekend Trip reporting. On Saturday, we had traveled throughout the south-western portion of the Country (including a brief but important stopover in Wales!) and stopped for the night in North Bristol. On Sunday, we hit the road again for one of the biggest attractions in the area: the city of Bath.

Bath was technically a settlement before the Romans ever arrived in Britain, but they were the ones to first bring attention to it. The city sits on top of the only natural hot springs in the entire country. It was used as a spa/resort city for the rich and a health/detox destination for those in need of a little of the city's magical medicinal touch.

Because of its spa/relaxation theme it quickly became a feature destination for Europe's most wealthy citizens. Stars, celebrities, politicians and socialites all vacationed here together and spend time doing what rich people do (not much of anything!). The picture above is me at the "Royal Crescent." It was a series of apartments build in Roman Classical style (about 30 apartments all with connecting, identical faces, in a half-moon shape). It was, and still is, one of the most exclusive properties in all of Britain (apartments go for about $ .5 million). A complementary complex, called the Circus (if the Crescent is the mood, the Circus is the sun - all based on shape) that also features similar architecture (and rental prices).

I had to include this one... We were wandering through the end of our walking tour of the city and happened upon these predominantly naked street performers. The one on the left is currently holding fire. These men did all kinds of crazy things, all while wearing very little. That made them my heroes.

And here we see the city's name-sake: the Roman Baths. The Romans, as I mentioned, discovered the hot springs and the pagan temples that had been erected upon them, and followed suit. Only on a much grander scale. Water comes up out of the ground at a rate of 1.7 million litres/day, and is naturally this green-ish color (filled with minerals and sulphur). It's also very warm water - that's steam rising off of it! This bath is just the central focal point of the "Roman Baths", and you can learn a lot more about the temple complex in my photo albums (link below).

It was a beautiful attraction - and just sitting by the warm, aromatic waters was incredibly relaxing. In case you're wondering, you weren't technically allowed to touch this water because it hadn't been "treated". However, if you were really curious, there was a fountain in the attached restaurant that pumped out treated bath water that was suitable for drinking. Yeah, I tried it. It was miserable! Sulfur tastes like rotten eggs, and so did the water. Hey, but at least I did it, right??

Bath was a beautiful city to visit (even though we had grey weather!). I only wish I would have had more time there! There were a number of eclectic little shops and boutiques I just KNOW I would have spent too much money in. At one jewelery store, I found micro-weave chain maille pieces -- that were set with diamonds. Oh, rich people... If I have the opportunity I'd like to go back and just wander the streets for a while -- and if you ever get the chance, go here!

Next up (when I get time): Stonehenge!

(to see the rest of my Bath pictures, click here: http://picasaweb.google.com/christine.zani/Bath)
(to see all of my photo albums, click here: http://picasaweb.google.com/christine.zani)
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1 comment:

MC said...

The apartments go for $.5 million? That's a lot, but, is it a typo? Why not say $500,000?