Sunday, we got up painfully (especially after the previous night’s ghost walk) early. We caught a train to Bath, and from the moment we stepped out of the station it felt like we might as well have entered another country. The streets were stone-built and looked as if they must have been coordinated as units, buildings, road and all. By the time we got to the Roman Baths Museum, things were looking distinctly Italian. I’m developing a real fondness for audio tours (who knew?) and for some reason I really loved the musty, ancient smell of the excavated parts of the old temple. They give out samplers of the water in the Pump Room on the way out, so I can now officially say I’ve ‘taken the waters at Bath.’ They were all right–tastably high mineral content, but the aftertaste was where it really got me.
We grabbed lunch to get the taste of the Bath water out of our mouths, and then we took a bus up to Prior Park. Unfortunately, we got off the bus at the Prior Park Road rather than the entrance to the actual garden, so we got to walk up a huge hill with our overfull backpacks in tow. We’d been lucky enough to find a baggage check on our way out of the station, but my back was still done for by then.
The World’s Most Aggressively Loyal National Trust Employee tried to get us to buy season passes (“We won’t be anywhere to use them.” “They’re a great deal.” “We’re not here for long.” “You can get them for 50 pounds, and that gives you access to all National Trust sites.” “We’re only here for two weeks.” “But are you sure…” “This is our last stop.”). It honestly took us a full minute or two to get the man to tell us the price for one-time admission. The park was gorgeous, of course. All sorts of picturesque. We went out a different way than we had come in and then walked a mile or two the midday heat, since the bus service on Sunday was pretty scant.
Back in the stationside area of Bath, we found an chorale evensong service at Bath Abbey. Peter, our Program Coordinator, had recommended one of the services as a beautiful performance and a good way to take in the architecture in the cathedrals. The place was full of stained glass and white, sort of netted carved arches. The service was shorter than we expected, and we had enough time to grab coffee before the train back to Paddington. We arrived back in London in the early evening, achy and exhausted and saturated with lovely sights and experiences.
To read my next post (Hamlet in Stratford!) click here.