This past weekend Alex and I made our first excursion out of London to the beautiful city of Bath (west of London). We couldn't have picked a better city to start our exploration of the UK. We bussed our way to Bath on Friday morning and got there mid-day. We stumbled out of the stinky bus and onto the streets surrounding the insanely gorgeous 18th-century Georgian architecture, which is pretty much the entire city. We went to the Roman Baths (where my boots were click-clacking all over the history-filled floors in the ancient bath house). We even got to taste the 10,000 year old water...tangy.
We walked through Bath Abbey, the Medieval Catholic cathedral right in the center of Bath. I noted there were tombstones covering the floor of the whole cathedral;my boots were covering a lot of historical ground. Muddy ground too, but I'll get to that later.
We made our way up the hill to meet Jeff, our Bed and Breakfast host, who was once the mayor back in the 70's! We met him at his favorite pub, drank local brews, got my first fish and chips in a box (greasy but phenomenal) and went to Beech Cottage. It was the cutest place and Jeff was so very hospitable. He gave us a deal to help him with his social media advertising in exchange for room and board too! As poor vagabonds, its important to cut corners wherever you can.
The next morning, after breakfast, Jeff suggested we take a leisurely stroll down into town. Now, I like walking and was ready to brave the cold winds in order to get a scenic view, however...the path we were supposed to take had turned into a mudslide river. But we decided to take it anyway. I grabbed a walking stick, that snapped after two steps, and projected the best Elizabeth Bennet I could down the path. This walk ended up showing me a side of Bath I wouldn't have taken advantage of otherwise; the countryside surrounding Bath is lush, quaint, and beautiful.
Our muddy-selves made it into town and we walked through book shops, to the Royal Crescent, and did the Jane Austen Center tour. We also had tea! I think being the overall enthusiast I am is solely an American trait because no one else wanted to dress up in Jane Austen period clothes except Alex and me (the only Americans on the tour). Well worth the stereotype. Then we went looking for the pub that Jeff recommended in town, but upon walking in, we were once again foreigners. The place was filled with old Bath men that everyone knew and we were the obvious outsiders. I love that feeling. After a pint, we set back to Beech cottage.
On Sunday, we gave in, and did the spa. After watching all those computer-generated videos of the elite Romans basking in their bubbly bathtubs, we decided to take part. The Thermae Bath Spa is right next to the Roman baths, complete with 5 scented steam rooms and two pools, including one on the rooftop! We weren't allowed to take pictures but from the top we could see the clouds hovering over the hills of Bath and hear the church bells around us. It was an unbelievable sight to be in a bath and be looking down at the Roman statues in their bath. Alex and I completed the evening by attending the Choral Evensong at Bath Abbey to hear the choir and organ, and we dined at a posh little place near the bus station before we left. The Cosy Club was indeed cozy, and we sat on couches eating chips and drinking hot chocolate. I then noticed in the paper, in very small print, that it was super bowl Sunday. Before that, I seriously had NO idea. It was odd.
As Alex and I were killing time we started talking about all the exciting things we would be doing when we got back to London, and how much we missed our own cozy rooms in Wembley. It was weird to notice this sudden connection I had with the city and right then, I wanted to be in London, at home. SO STRANGE. But I can't help it.
Currently reading: Wild by Cheryl Strayed