July 12, 2005

Lisa: UK Trip, Day 6

The bus was scheduled to pick us up at noon, so we had some time to look around Bath. We decided to start with the Roman Baths, but there was a huge line of Japanese tourists waiting to go in, so we decided to look around in the nearby abbey for a few minutes first. It was beautiful.

I especially liked reading the epitaphs on the grave markers all over the walls.

After the abbey, the line at the Baths seemed to have calmed down, so we went in. It was pretty expensive, at over 9 pounds each, but they have done a nice job with the museum. Basically, we got to see inside almost all of the rooms--now most in ruins--and read about what each one was, how the baths worked, etc. The baths are still technically functional, with the hot mineral water bubbling up out of the spring, filling up the big main pool, and then heading out an ancient drain to meet up with the river Avon. The main pool is very picturesque, with a courtyard around it overlooked by Roman statues.

I decided not to try a drink of the water in the pump room!

After we visited the Baths, Molly and I went to the Jane Austen Centre. Jane Austen spent about five years living in Bath, and mentioned it to some extent in all of her books. A tour guide gave us some background on Jane's family, and then we walked through an exhibit with some replicas of clothing, furniture, etc. from her time period.

(Molly with Mr. Darcy)

After the Jane Austen Centre, it was time to get back on the bus!

Our first stop in the bus on Thursday was Lacock, an idyllic little village that almost seems untouched by time. The BBC's Pride and Prejudice was filmed there, and you can see why. There aren't even TV antennae to get in the way of the shot!

(Blake lusts after an anachronistic sports car)

After Lacock, we got back on the bus and drove to one of the white chalk horses--actually a relatively new one--called the Cherhill White Horse.

Next to it was an obelisk that was supposedly erected to commemorate a man who brought a woman back to life with a kiss after she was hanged.

Not far past the horse and the obelisk was Silbury Hill, which is completely manmade. It doesn't seem to be a burial mound, so (much like Stonehenge and the other standing stones), they JUST DON'T KNOW why it is there or how it was built.

Our last stop on Thursday was at the Avebury standing stones. The Avebury stone circles are much larger in diameter than those at Stonehenge, and a village is built right in the center. We had to pick our way through sheep fields to see the stones. It was definitely less touristy than Stonehenge, but I think it's a bit harder to appreciate without an aerial view outlining the shape of the circles, if that makes sense.

(I don't think Molly was ready for this one)

(OK, there she is)

(See, we were really there!)

(Can you see all the sheep poop?)

After Avebury, we headed straight back to London and checked in to the Garden Court Hotel. It felt like a palace after all those hostels! We rode the underground to the Waterloo station (after a delicious Italian meal), took a ride on the London Eye Ferris Wheel, and then headed back to the hotel and to bed.

(We could have asked one of the nice people in the car with us to take our picture, but did we? No. Very attractive result, don't you think?)

Also, we met a really nice couple on our tour: PJ and Kate from Monterey, California. Maybe we'll run into them again someday!


Posted by lisa at July 12, 2005 10:48 AM

We should should have Scotland photo night. I've got a bucket load of pics

Posted by: AC on July 29, 2005 12:36 AM

That would be fun!

Posted by: lisa on July 29, 2005 08:47 AM
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