As promised, a glimpse on my escape to Bath, UK.
Left early in the morning from London on the National Express - arrived around noon. Started to wander and came across an indoor market selling everything from vintage trinkets to rocky road & the famous bath buns! Took a few of these sticky sinful delights for the road and head for the Roman Baths.
As I was about to pay my 14 quid entry – I heard a quirky voice whaling “Free Bath Walking Tours”, I looked to the right and saw Bill, a retired headmaster, sporting a vest that stated CITY OF BATH Free Walking Tour… Hmmm, decisions, decisions…The walk it was and so are my key learnings.
Bath has a deep and long history for being associated with hot water, relaxation, society & good times! Its natural hot springs come deep from beneath the city. The baths were at times promoted as having miraculous properties around health & fertility.
As we left the crowded area of the roman baths, our guide blurted out “Let’s get away from din & hoypaloy” – Needless to say I heard many more new expressions along the way.
The bath stone itself is quite remarkable as it brands the city in a way that is both consistent and magical. Its warm white hue brings a glow that I have yet to see anywhere else. According to my guide, Bath Stone comes from beneath the sea and was swept on the shores by a Tsunami.
Jane Austen wrote 2 novels based in Bath – Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.
Queen Victoria left her mark with a beautiful park & gardens. Black iron gates can be found throughout the city – It seems that when Albert died, she had them painted in line with her emotions. Bill told a story about her ankles and bad gossip which unfortunately seemed to have kept her away.
After exploring the streets, architecture and listening to a most knowledgeable and witty Welshman – I knew that I made the right decision. Bill kindly offered to share a "free" point of view to the Roman Baths if we stayed until the end of the walk – however, after 135 minutes, I quietly retired to the Bath Spa and immersed myself in a small open-air bath. I closed my eyes and imagined I was in the middle ages, fueling my thoughts with the content of some of the stories I had just heard.
Bill mentioned – “If you are going to engage people truly, you have to feed them surprises”. Powerful words spoken by a master of delight, which I gratefully stumbled upon during my too short of a visit. Next time I will surely give it a night’s stay.