Well you talked me into it, you and my room mate, who used to live in Barth :o) You all said how good the Roman Baths are, so I believed you and went to see for myself today. I walked down Bathwick Hill as usual, to the town, passing over the canal. This seems a popular stopover place, handy for getting supplies at Tesco. Five boats side by side, does that mean they have to climb over each other when they want to get onto the canal bank?
I got to the Baths about 10am, before the crowds had built up. I went to the ticket desk and asked for a Saver ticket for a senior, The dear boy didn't ask my age, well it wouldn't be right would it, to ask a lady her age. I offered to show my bus pass, but he said he didn't need it. It was impossible to take photo's without getting people in the shot. When you first go in you walk around the top, looking down into the baths.
Dotted around are these stone statues.
You can see how close the Baths are to the Abbey. I am halfway round now and more visitors are piling in behind me. Everyone is given a handset, like a telephone, and on the walls are numbers you press on the keyboard to listen to all the details of that particular part of the exhibition. I found that very useful. Everyone walks around like zombies tuned in to their own personal audio guide.
As you might guess there were lots of fragments of the original stonework made by the Romans. It's amazing what new technology can achieve, they filled in the gaps by projecting images onto the jigsaw puzzle, showing what it would look like if all the pieces were there. Very clever.
All the upper levels are modern, built so that thousands of visitors can walk over the top safely, and look down on the Roman stones without damaging them.
Most of the exhibition is below the ground, under the streets of Bath. This is where the water flows into the baths.
When you have walked around the pool on the upper level you can walk round it at ground level.
These two were quite chatty and were happy to pose for photo's.
There is a demonstration on film on how they made their bricks. First they get a lump of clay, and roll it out like you would pastry. They have a wooden mold and wrap the clay around it to form a box. They can be placed in a line to make an arch over a door.
Here are some more exposed earthworks.
These floor tiles have been lifted and stacked up, to show how this bath would have been built.
This is the hot spring, it is the only one in England. You can see the bubbles rising, but that isn't because it's hot, it's the gases which are coming up to the surface.
I'm glad that I went to see it, I suppose it's one of the things you must do when you are visiting Bath. The whole exhibition is very well thought out, and very informative. I was in there for one and a half hours, which was enough, though I could have stopped longer.
When I came out I sat in the square and listened to this young lady singing. She had a beautiful voice, reminded me of Nana Mouskouri. She got lots of applause, and people bought her CD.
My next stop was the Fashion Museum in the Assembly Rooms, it was included in the Saver Ticket. I took a few photo's but they didn't turn out very well due to the fact that the dresses were behind glass. I wasn't impressed by this exhibition. It was a bit dark in there, maybe that is to preserve the fabric. Each dress had a lengthy description about the designer, all placed on the wall opposite the dresses, but they weren't near the dress they were referring to, so there was a lot of walking backwards and forwards. The audio guide wasn't very good, didn't tell me much, so I gave up with it.
When that was done, I was keen to get out of the town. One and a half days of noise and hustle and bustle was enough for me. I got a leaflet from the Tourist Office and did the six mile Sky Walk. It starts at Bathwick Hill just below the hostel, I was in the town so I got a bus to the start.
It's a circular route which takes in Widcombe, The Priory, Claverton Down, Bushey Norwood, Bathampton Down, and Sham Castle. All to the east of the city. There are some good views to admire.
What a lovely place to live, in peace and tranquility in the countryside.
It was very hot again today, but I was quite pleased that this walk takes in several woods. At least I got to walk in the shade.
Even the cows and sheep were sheltering in the shade of a tree.
These mushroom thingys were huge. The size of dinner plates.
And here is Sham Castle. That's all there is to it. I don't know if it ever was a castle, or if it is just a folly. The way up the towers is blocked off.
Well my dear readers, my holiday is almost over. I shall be leaving the hostel tomorrow morning. I have sent a text to Compost Woman asking if I should call in and see her on the way back up, but she hasn't replied. I will try again in the morning. The hostel is quiet tonight, not many people in. My room mates have come and gone, the Chinese ladies have moved on, we are three tonight in a six bed dorm. The new lady arrived today is from Germany.
Have a nice weekend. Toodle pip.