Thursday, July 02, 2015

The United Kingdom: the waters of Bath

It is amazing what a full night of sleep can do! Especially when you wake up when your body is done sleeping and not on a timetable (however self imposed it might be).

After a harrowing day in the countryside with Miss Austen, exhaustion, and a good amount of tears, we decided to revamp this travel day to allow us time to sleep in and relax! This was a wonderful idea and MUCH needed. We had originally planned to head to Bath for the first half of the day and then catch a train to Cardiff, Wales for literally like a hour just to say that we went to Wales. But after second thought, we decided it just wasn't worth it to our emotional and physical health.

We started our morning sleeping late and then slowly got ready for the day and headed out to a proper breakfast! This was Aaron's first chance to have a full English style breakfast and it did not disappoint... although I had to help him finish it a bit! We chose Bill's Restaurant just on the other side of the High Street in Reading, mostly because it was conveniently close, but later discovered from Carla, that it is a favorite of her families! So the day was already starting out splendidly!

enjoying some tea!

I want that wall of tea! It is so cute... also look at that breakfast!
The temperatures had cooled down significantly, so this brought much joy to my heart and relief to my body. I struggle with a deep and abiding hatred of heat, so when a heat wave hit England just as I was in desperate need of an escape from the Arizona heat, I was disappointed. However the hot weather had passed and this day actually brought us from cloud cover and rain!

After our later breakfast, Aaron and I set off for Bath.

My first taste of Minstrels on this trip at the train station! Welcome back friends!
I was excited to show Aaron Bath, because it offers so much history in such a beautiful setting! You have the Roman Baths for a bit of medieval history and then you also have the rest of the city, which is heavily featured in many British novels, several written by Jane Austen.

stepping off the train and into the misty rain!
 We had brought umbrellas with us, but I didn't even want to use mine, I was so excited to feel the cool rain drops! We did however have to duck into a department store to escape when it started coming down quite heavily.

Entrance to the Roman Baths
 This was my 3rd trip to Bath, but it was still fascinating and so lovely to explore. ALSO, they had recently opened a new section of the Baths to tour that was recently excavated, so there were parts that were entirely new to me! Aaron LOVED Bath. He will tell you it was his favorite day of the trip and made him realize how much he hoped on our next trip to the UK that we would stay farther out from London for more of our time.

these were "curses" that people had purchased to be put on their enemies... so cool.

seriously - England and their tiny doors

taking in the healing waters

heavy stones!

a view of Bath Abbey from the main Bath

Sipping the Bath water

yep! That is the reaction I would expect
After our tour of the ancient Baths, we were ready for food! I remember coming here with my parents on their visit and walking through the main tea room and hoping that one day I would be able to sit and eat there! It was crowded then, so my parents and I couldn't get a table. So when Aaron and I popped our head in, we were delighted to find it quite open and immediately got a table! We ordered tea and a tray of tea sandwiches. I felt so fancy!

As we had lunch, we met a sweet older couple at the table next to us. They were on vacation in Bath and the gentleman mentioned how he use to come here with his wife many years ago, which almost led me to believe they were having some sort of an affair, but then it was clarified that his wife had passed away and he was now married to the woman he was with. She explained her husband had also passed away and the 2 couples had been friends for many years. When both of their spouses passed away, they started spending time together in their grief and eventually fell in love! So incredibly sweet! I love the people I meet and the stories I hear when I travel. The best ones always seem to be from older people. I hope when Aaron and I are old, we will recount our story for other young travelers all over the world.

We finished our meal just and sunshine broke out over the city, which was perfect timing cause we were ready to explore the Bath streets! We made our way up to the Royal Crescent, popping in and out of shops and leisurely strolling at a comfortable pace. I loved the easy pace we had.

The Royal Crescent really is awesome! My favorite part is the HUGE lawn in front of it. I was so happy it was sunny out, but still comfortable so we could stroll and relax on the grass.

Love this guy right here!

People use to come to Bath as a sort of resort/spa town! They would talk about taking in the healing waters of Bath and feel refreshed and restored in this city. That is exactly how we felt, except we didn't drink the water or bath in it. Instead it was the part of our trip where we slowed down and reset. We killed ourselves in London and set a pace that would have been impossible to maintain, so a day of leisure was exactly what was needed. It was as if the rain in Bath had quite literally washed away the weight of exhaustion and tension from the day before and the harried adrenaline tourism of the days before that. Bath is definitely a highlight day!

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