The Daily Diary of a Wandering Restaurateur
Taking in Bath
This is our last day in Somerset and it seems like we just got here. The exercise of the day was to figure out of all the places we wanted to go and things we wanted to see in this part of England, which would make the final cut and which would have to wait for another trip. Given that we (predictably) weren't ready to leave the house until around noon, Margene voted for Bath, about 45 minutes north.
She's been reading a LOT of romance novels set in this area and wanted to see the places mentioned in the stories. Since I understand that the correct answer is always, "Yes Dear!" off we went. Bath is actually quite a large city, so the feel was much more urban than the small villages we've been traipsing through. The big trick was figuring out which parking lots were within walking distance of the spots she wanted to see, but after endlessly spiraling our way toward the town center, we got it sorted out.
Despite being the back end of the tourist season, Sunday in Bath is still a bit of a mob scene, with families, tour groups, street performers and people soliciting for all sorts of charities elbow to elbow in the town center. The relative good news is that all the places she wanted to see were within a fairly small geographical area, so it was quite walkable ... for her. My new knee was letting me know it wasn't liking the uneven stone sidewalks, but I soldiered on as best I could, finally settling in on a park bench while she wandered more afield.
On our way back to the cottage, we stopped by the Chalice Well, a peaceful an inviting garden with an iron-rich well whose water allegedly has healing properties. Whether that proved to be true or not, the grounds and gardens promised to be an oasis of tranquility ... and totally in keeping with the new age spirit of Glastonbury.
The famous Roman baths draw the big crowds and we don't do crowds ... but we did find a spot where
we could look down on what is known as the King's Bath without a line or a fee! Bath Abbey is in the middle of the downtown
action next to the baths. I borrowed a photos off the Internet for most of these shots since it would have been impossible to
get the perspective with my little camera. Pulteney Bridge reminded me of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, a bridge lined with
shops along both sides. Margene ate it up. "I've seen this so many times," she said. I don't read those books so it was a
first for me!
Perhaps surprisingly, a big attraction in Bath is the more recent architecture, specifically from the Georgian period. The biggie is the Royal Crescent, sort the original "condos" built in the mid-18th century. You definitely need a panoramic lens to take this one in!
The Chalice Well was a real meditative spot. Not a lot to see in here, but the vibe is good ... and Margene said that drinking a bit of the water and rubbing some on her troublesome neck made her feel better than she has all trip! Go figure!
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