The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bath Revisited

I just realized that, despite my promise to do so, I never posted anything describing our weekend in the beautiful city of Bath. I'll try to rectify this omission by offering a few comments on our brief stay over the weekend of 18-20 October.

We had booked a room at a lovely B&B, The Bath House, located only a block or two from the city's center. Because we had made our reservation a bit late (rooms in Bath are always in demand) we were given a room on the top floor of the house. Fortunately, our host was a strong, young man who happily carried our bags up the two flights of stairs. The room was very nice with a king-size bed, an en suite bath, and also included a wonderful English breakfast delivered to our room each morning. And most conveniently, and a true rarity in Bath, the B&B also had free on-site parking. The only problem we encountered that weekend was the weather: it rained almost constantly. 

After our late afternoon arrival, we walked into town, passed by the Jane Austen Center which we decided to visit the next morning, and strolled up Gay Street to the Circus, one of Bath's many architectural wonders. The first photo below shows only one of the three segments of the Circus. In the second photo you can see the three types of classic columns present on the three levels of the building. It had started to drizzle so we stopped by a pub, grabbed a bite to eat, and then returned to our B&B. It had been a long day and so we called if a night, hoping to see all the sights on Saturday.

On Saturday morning, after our in-room breakfast, we walked the few short blocks to the Jane Austen Center where we were greeted by the doorman dressed in Regency period clothing, but looking more like a character out of Dickens. Here are a couple of photos...

The Center itself is well worth a visit. First we listened to an interesting talk delivered by a lovely young lady who spoke eloquently about Jane Austen's time in Bath; then we spent about an hour browsing through the museum which focused on various aspects of life in early 19th-century Bath. Of course we also stopped by their gift shop and contributed to the economy of 21st-century Bath. I've included a photo below of Diane standing alongside a faceless mannequin wearing a period dress, and a young boy writing with a quill pen. For one so young he actually did quite well. Bright lad.

We spent much of the day roaming about the city trying to stay dry. We walked to the Royal Crescent, another of those uniquely designed Bath buildings. In the photo below you can see the ha-ha, the depressed wall in front of the Crescent, an unusual construction commonly used at the time to keep animals and other undesirable critters from desecrating the front lawns of the wealthy. It could not be easily seen from above; hence the name.

We visited the Bath Abbey (see first photo below) and spent quite a while in the ancient Roman baths, another must-see when visiting Bath. The museum takes one through the early history of the city from pre-Roman times to the present.

Sadly, the poor weather prevented us from seeing many of the sights we had hoped to visit, and I was particularly disappointed in missing out on a planned boat trip on the River Avon. Indeed, late that afternoon we were caught in a downpour that, despite raincoats and umbrellas, completely drenched us as we hurried back to our lodgings. We were thoroughly soaked and quite cold by the time we returned to our room. It continued to rain throughout the evening and the next morning we had to drive to London's Gatwick Airport to drop off our car. Perhaps we'll be able to travel to Bath again someday, and see all those places we were unable to visit. I've included a few random Bath photos below...

Now...back to our ocean voyage.


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