Saturday, July 27, 2013

England {day 4}

We spent most of Wednesday in Bath. Believe me, it was not nearly enough time to do the city justice. We needed a couple of days at least, not just a morning and an afternoon, but we enjoyed the parts that we were able to see.
Thomas at Paddington Station
Bath Abbey, which was sadly closed to the public because of graduation ceremonies. I really wish we could have gone in, especially because they have a tour that includes climbing to the top of those spires in the front. Oh well--next time! The Roman Baths are to the right.
The first thing we did in Bath was take advantage of the free walking tour of the city that is offered daily. It was certainly nice to have something free, and it was a great way to get an introduction to the city.
our tour guide with the Royal Crescent behind him
I really loved the architecture in Bath because it all so unified. Much of it is from the 18th century when Bath had its heyday as a popular location for people to come for their health. It is still easy to imagine Jane Austen (and her characters) living in the city.

Of course the main attraction that we hit was the Roman Baths themselves. Really interesting and amazingly preserved, given how old they are. There is so much history there because the hot springs in Bath were popular for their supposed medicinal purposes at a variety of times throughout the last 2,000 years. Thomas, who had seen other baths in France, was very impressed with how intact these are.
the Sacred Spring - if you look closely you can see the water bubbling
Thomas tasting the water. It was not very good.
We enjoyed afternoon tea at the Pump Room Restaurant. The restaurant is in the actual 18th century pump room where tourists would socialize each day (as they did in Northanger Abbey, for example). It was beautiful and our food was delicious and surprisingly filling. We also were able to listen to the Pump Room Trio while eating. The whole experience was just lovely.

tea sandwiches, crostini, scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, and a selection of pastries. It was all good but the scones in particular were heavenly.

After taking the train back to London and dropping our raincoats and extra items off at the flat, we went back out to see our second West End show in as many days. That night we saw Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre. Later in the week we were able to go to some King Arthur sites, so we thought this would be a fun way to tie into that. And though our tickets were significantly cheaper than to Les Mis (and I mean, significantly), we had even better seats, in the center of the fourth row. It was so, so funny. A lot was taken directly from Monty Python and the Holy Grail but there were also some new additions, and even the parts we already knew took on an extra level of ridiculousness and hilarity when presented live on stage. We had the best time.

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