Thursday, 27 July 2017

After a good breakfast in the hotel, it was time to explore Bath – the home of the ancient 2,000 year old Roman baths. To get into the city, and being almost 2 miles away, the hotel concierge mentioned that down the road from the hotel I can hop on a tour boat. This boat will take me into the center of town as well as enjoying the sites along the Avon River. (Found out on the boat trip that this isn’t the Shakespeare Stratford-upon-Avon river – that the word “avon” is the Celtic word for river. People like the Romans, when asking the locals about the name of a river, the Celtic citizen would reply, “avon”. So many rivers, as a result, are named “Avon” throughout England.)

As a side note, my Grandfather Marsh was born in Bath, NY in 1879. His great-grandparents emigrated to Bath from Connecticut in 1838 and bought land that was part of the Pulteney Association, named for Sir William Johnstone Pulteney of Bath, England who invested in this section of Steuben County, and the town of Bath was named after the town in England. This is my connection to this town. As far as I know, I’m the first Marsh from Bath, N.Y. to visit.

After a short walk to the old mills along the Avon I found the landing where we were to meet the tour boat. Very peaceful there – with the gentle falls and slow moving river. Right on time the boat arrived and we got on for a relatively short ride into Bath. Along the way we learned more of this area’s history.

Old Mill 

When arriving in Bath by the tour boat I found a bridge that dropped me off near the Bath Abbey which was also near the Roman Baths. I first visited the Abbey – which was good sized with many memorials on the walls and stayed for part of the service that had already started when I arrived.

The Roman Baths are the most popular local attraction. The lines to get in were not too long (getting there early in the day is recommended) so I was able to start my tour in less than 20 minutes after I arrived. As can be imagined, there have been changes to the baths over the years. In the late 1800’s the area was enclosed inside a Victorian superstructure. Still in evidence are stones and building foundations from Roman times that are now 12 feet underground. I should have asked if the water back in the Roman times was green as pictured below.

Large Roman Bath

Roman Relics

Minerva

Note: The object pictured above is of Minerva, the same deity as the Greek Athena. The gilt bronze head of the goddess Sulis Minerva is one of the best known objects from Roman Britain. Its discovery in 1727 was an early indication that the Roman site at Bath was not a typical settlement. Gilt bronze sculptures are rare finds from Roman Britain as only two other fragments are known. 

After the tour I was getting tired but first I needed to get a haircut. While walking around I found a Turkish barber shop and was able to be seated without waiting. The barber took his time and did a thorough job on my hair – both on my head and also trimmed my ears and eyebrows.

Being tired, I just wanted to find a taxi and head back to the hotel. Seems that most taxis you need to call. Once I found a number to call a taxi was there within a few minutes. I asked the driver if he wouldn’t mind driving by the Royal Crescent. I got out a took some pictures. Very impressive!

When I returned to the hotel I immediately took a nap. I couldn’t keep my eyes opened. Think I slept for a couple of hours. When I woke I took care of some bookkeeping and called my cousin Donna then made reservations for my trip to Manchester tomorrow. Then went down and had afternoon tea in the lounge.

After tea I returned to my room and spend the next couple of hours working with technical support who help maintain my travel blog. The web application has been “complaining” about uploading pictures. Sometimes it works and sometimes it didn’t. Collaborating with remote technical support can be a challenge – and probably more of a challenge because I know just enough to make me dangerous. I kept asking them to slow down and explain their technical jargon as it related to their application. Eventually I was satisfied and tried their solution. Having over a year’s worth of text and pictures in their application – the loss would be difficult to accept.

Was still tired after dinner and it wasn’t long before I was in bed. The hotel bed was so comfortable I almost didn’t want to fall asleep. Nice to enjoy the comfort.

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