Friday, 29 January 2010

Leaving Bath

Just a few more things to show you around Bath and then I'll shut up. If you visited Bath you would no doubt be gawking, as I did, at the Bath Abbey,

the Empire Hotel (way too big for me to get all of it into a single shot), Pulteney Bridge

with its quaint little shops

and the Avon River.

I will also mention a pub called the Saracens Head, where Charles Dickens is said to have sat making notes about the people of Bath which he later used in his Pickwick Papers. We went in and found it, as written, virtually unchanged since 1713, including the smell and the low beamed ceilings; they had, however added a big screen TV. A horrible place.

Bill found The Old Green Tree,

one of the tiniest pubs I've ever seen. It was obviously very old but with beautifully crafted wood everywhere and very friendly

Continental staff. I had to laugh when they crossed out one of the offerings on the board and replaced it: I told Bill they lost their Innocence (4%) to Dark Delights (5.5%).

We stayed in an inexpensive Holiday Inn Express just south of the river and it turned out there were 3 bridges across within a relatively short distance, one of which took us through the former Green Park train station which, like Tynemouth Metro, has a market on Saturdays. I ended up buying one of those tea strainer sets from this amazing market with hard wood floors.

We also visited the Bath Markets,

which turned out to be much like Grainger Market in Newcastle.

It was a great building.

One of the main things Bill wanted to see – the first thing we set out to find, in fact, is the Royal Crescent.

I'm sure there are a million better pictures of it online that I could manage to get on that day.

Sadly, the museum at No. 1 was shut until mid-February.

I don’t know that we’ll return to Bath unless we happen to get into the Bath Half, which is considered a good race. It fills up pretty quickly; yes, that was a pun on the name -- you can thank Bob for it -- but true, nevertheless. Others I saw including a shop selling running kit, called Bath Running and a pub called the Bath Tap.

We finished the guided walking tour our last morning. Just before we headed to the train station, we passed an amazing French woman who was busking. Buskers are common enough around the streets of Britain, but you don't normally hear opera being sung on street corners. We were both impressed enough to put money in her basket.

For lunch, we had the remainders of the previous evening’s feast sitting on a bench by the river, overlooking some of Brunel’s engineering. I was reminded of the story in our tour booklet about Queen Victoria having snubbed the city of Bath by staying on her train and passing through, though the city had spent all sorts of money preparing for her arrival. The story I found later on the internet is that she had opened a park there as a child, aged 11. The wind blew her dress up and she overheard someone say she had fat legs. Apparently she never forgave the city for that remark.

If you want more pictures of Bath, there is this lovely blog written by people who are lucky enough to actually live there!

We made our way home on the Sunday, via train, bus, plane and metro, only to find our central heating boiler was broken. We sat and ate cheese and crackers huddled in front of the fire in the living room. Fortunately, the repairman came the next evening. On that Monday I kept moving to stay warm and got a lot of housework done!


TKW said...

I love the shot of the shops--so adorable and old-fashioned looking. I'm dying to go!

Anonymous said...

This brings back great memories of our bus trip through this part of England, and our very shout stopover in Bath. We could have used much more time there.