When I left off, we’d just been warmly greeted and welcomed by Sue at Cornerways B&B. At her suggestion we headed off for a bit of light sightseeing and ended up at a pub called the Raven for an early dinner. After that, we availed ourselves on Sue’s dvd collection and watched a fascinating (and devastating) documentary about the bombing of Bath during WWII. Apparently, Hitler used the famous Baedecker Guide books to choose locations for his raids. 419 civilians lost their lives in the bombing and the video had many eyewitness accounts. Ok, if you’re not a history buff, this sounds depressing but we found it very interesting and, because we were in Bath, followed it up with a Jane Austin movie. (It was Emma which only mentions Bath in passing but it’s my favorite!)
The next morning, rested and refreshed and breakfasted in wonderful fashion, we headed off to take the free walking tour of Bath. Like any set of siblings, my sister and I have very different talents. When it comes to travel, I do the planning – she does the map work. I can tell you where we should go – she can tell you how to get there…it’s great! When we reached the vicinity of the tour, I asked a man standing nearby if this was were the tour met. Before he could answer, my sister mentioned that I might have known that if I had looked at the sign right in front of me! That, I explained to our new acquaintance, was why I did the planning and she did the directions!
Our tour guide arrived and our new friend stayed with our group, much to our delight. Aves, as we now knew him, had a wonderfully witty, dry sense of humor and we all had a delightful time on the two-hour tour. Now, at 79, Mom needed a bit of a break after all that walking so we all popped into a local place for a bit of tea before going on to the Roman Baths. (I think it was about this time that Aves sent a text to a friend saying he’d been adopted by three American women in Bath…I never heard the friend’s reply!)
Our next stop was the Roman Baths. Now, I could and did take more than a hundred photos in the Baths so I’m just going to share a few favorites. I did, by the way, fill a 4GB card, a 2GB card and have to buy and additional 4GB during the trip. My theory is if I take enough photos, there are bound to be a few really good ones!
If you aren’t familiar with the Roman Baths they are the excavated site of an actual bathing and temple site (a modern day spa) dating back to at least76 AD. The mineral hot springs came back into vogue in Jane Austin’s time and Bath was THE place to see and be seen. Jane Austin herself is said to have hated living in Bath and she certainly pokes a tremendous amount of fun at the town in Northanger Abbey. The waters at Bath were believed to have healing properties and many people came to Bath seeking a cure.
We couldn’t go to Bath without “taking the waters” as they used to call it so we each downed a glass warm mineral water. I have to say it didn’t taste nearly as bad as I thought it would (I thought it tasted like warm California tap water) and at least I can say I tried it! I did ask my sister, who is an M.D., if the waters really would have cured anyone. Her answer was that there were certain mineral deficiencies that would have been improved by it and would have had a curative effect if that was the root problem…I think I’d rather stick to my vitamins!
I’m looking at my photos and realizing that I may have to figure out how
to add a photo gallery page to this blog…there are so many photos to share!
So, after all the walking, Mom was ready to pack it in so we picked her up a
dinner from Pret a Manger and dropped her off at Cornerways to rest. Then
we went for a long walk along the park are in Bath which had a lovely tribute
to Queen Victoria.