2013 IM Ireland – UK Tour : Day 4 :Bath

Every time I usually go on one of these tours, there’s usually at least one town or

destination that I fall completely in love with.

Though London was definitely one of the

highlights of the trip, Bath made me savor every look and breath of it.

Bath’s Roman influences make it clearly stand out from the surrounding English

towns with its history and architecture. Rather than the bricks that seem to cover every

square inch of a typical English town, Bath chooses a more charming alternative by using

Bath Stone, a pale yellow limestone. A majority of the buildings in the town is built using

this material, and personally wins my appreciation over the brick any day. One of these

buildings includes the Roman Baths, where Bath got its name.

As the Romans invaded Britain, they probably couldn’t be happier finding a hot

spring so they could have some of the comforts of their homeland. The Roman Baths,

however, started out as a temple in 60-70 AD before the Romans started constructing a

variety of baths in the next 300 years. The types of baths differ in location and temperature,

but one piece of advice the museum constantly reminded us to take was to not even

attempt to bathe, no matter how tempting. I’m fairly sure that most people wouldn’t be

very tempted in taking a bath in what seemed to me to be a pool of green-brown water. If

you really feel the need to do what the Romans do, then the museum does offer some clean

spring water. I must advise you that while the water does claim to offer lots of minerals, it

also offers a metallic aftertaste.

I would rather save my taste buds for the Grand Pump Room, located right next to

the Roman Baths. The interior of the building is definitely worth taking a look at and offers

a nice view of the baths. Don’t be intimidated by the “posh” atmosphere though, since food

is decently priced and there are menu options for a small snack during teatime. Though try

not to get to involved with taking pictures or else you’ll knock over a few chairs like my

brother did. If the atmosphere is just too “posh” for you like it probably was for my brother,

Bath offers tons of shops and stands near the Abbey Church Yard where you can grab

something to eat while listening to the hoard of street musicians that never leave the area

quiet for long.

The Abbey Church Yard is unsurprisingly also where the Abbey Church of Saint

Peter and Saint Paul is located. The church is like most other churches I’ve seen but the

addition of Bath Stone gives the building a yellow color, making the exterior just as

beautiful as the inside.

Before checking out Bath in the evening, we stopped by our hotel, the Francis Hotel.

Its five-star class accommodations may have impressed me (meaning they had tons of free

stuff in the rooms and a delicious hotel dinner), but the hotel’s bold colors and furniture

really made me fall in love with the place.

Fortunately, my brother and I were able to see the Circus and the Royal Crescent

before the area got too dark. Both places are a group of townhouses that feature a beautiful

green area either in the center of the houses or right in front. I silently thanked the fates for

not urging my brother to bring his football on the trip, or else I would have had to spend

the rest of the day running around in boots and a skirt. Just another one of the interesting

things I found in Bath was a less common paintjob on the classic red phone booth. In honor

of the Queen, some of the phone booths are painted a battleship gray. The great quality in

restoration of the town in general is no thanks to the community; we even saw a man living

nearby taking care of the gray phone booths by cleaning up some of the dirt and scum on it.

As if Bath couldn’t bring me to love it even more, the calm nightlife made the

atmosphere just that more romantic, especially when we saw the birds on the River Avon

floating under the beautiful reflection of Pulteney Bridge over the water.

If I had to relate this city to another one I’ve visited in the past, I would have to point

my fingers at Toledo. I felt the same magical feeling of travel and exploration all over again,

a feeling I get when I come across a small town with so much to offer. Not many places

make me think I’m just seeing postcards instead of reality, but Bath did it for me. I took in

every stone, street musician, and breathe of air in that town and not one of them brings

back an unhappy or unsatisfactory memory.

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