Monday, April 11, 2011

On Top of the World, or Bath, at Least

Today was a full day in Bath. It started off with a large breakfast with several other B&B guests, then we went out into the chilly morning for a brisk walk up the hill to the Jane Austen Center. It was a lively, entertaining and educational stay, rife with lovely images of Colin Firth.

Next, on to the Fashion Musem and the Assembly Rooms. The Fashion Museum currently is running a special exhibition on wedding dresses in honor of the upcoming royal wedding. It was fun for me - probably not quite so much for Tom. The Assembly Rooms are grand and quite startlingly tall.

We then continued even farther up the hill to the Museum of Bath at Work. It's a full recreation of a shop that did brass and iron working, engineering and made mineral water. There are scads of period tools and a truly amazing place where you can push a button and make the entire workshop go, by means of a large number of pulleys. Mind-boggling and Quinn would have loved it if he were here. It would have appealed to his little engineering mind.

Down the hill, next, to pick up lunch at the local supermarket and picnic in the Parade Gardens right next to the Avon. On the way down, rain had been threatening, and even spitting a bit, but it got over it and we had pleasant weather (or at least not wet) for our lunch.

After that it was time for me take the Tower Tour at the Bath Abbey. This was an activity just for me, as Tom is not fond of churches or heights. It was fabulous! We went up and up in a tight spiral of stone stairs - 212 in all. We saw the ringing room, the inside of the clock, stood above the fan vaulting and met all 10 bells. Then, up to the very top. I was on top of Bath! The wind was tremendous, as were the views.

Then, because my husband loves me very much and spoils me rotten, he convinced me to go to the Thermae Spa. It's the only spa left in Bath, using the thermal waters. It is quite swanky, including aroma-therapy saunas, and both an indoor pool and one on third floor roof. In England, their third floor equals our fourth floor, so again I was up, up, up! It was glorious and I enjoyed every moment, except the brief period that I hopped into the frankincense sauna not knowing what was coming. I hate frankincense and left that one quickly. The mint, eucalyptus and lavender were all lovely, although too hot for my preference and I didn't stay in for very long.

I am feeling much refreshed and ready for Glastonbury and Wells tomorrow.

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