England is a land which is culturally rich and has its history tracing back to the ancient Roman times. The England of today was one of the provinces of the Romans and was then called Britannia. I learnt this little information many years ago and somewhere on the back of my mind, facts from here and there started to grow my enthusiasm deeper. Even before I moved to the UK, I had a wish – a wish to visit a place that upheld the history of this country and took us into that ancient era with its current structure.
Recently, we were making plans of going out to see some place nearby. The silly English weather wouldn’t permit us to make any booking in advance. We restricted ourselves to plan for a day tour and as our dear friend Google listed the places, I quickly decided on the city of Bath Spa.
A direct train runs until Reading from Paddington. Here, hop on to the next train to Bath Spa. It is an overall journey of a little over one and half hours. What can I say about the journey? Simply scenic!
Until you cross Swindon, the journey is not so interesting. You could probably find better stuff around you But all eyes turn towards the windows once they sight the green meadows of the English countryside!
Lush green, fresh and photogenic scenery is what you can see for most part of your journey on your way. I was merry enjoying the picture perfect scenes flashing infront of my eyes. We even spotted some horse farm, sheep farm etc on our way, adding more joy to our already blissful souls. The journey was like the trailer of a promising film.
We reached Bath Spa, walked out of the station and dropped our bags, literally, turned around, 365 degrees and.. Hold on, don’t do the mistake to think we were disappointed! We were pleasantly surprised!
We imagined this city, which is chosen as the World Heritage city (the only one in England) to be somewhat old, with broken buildings here and there (not to demean anything). But as we saw, it had a very good look, not fancy but neat.
From the tourist center we grabbed a map, marked our places of interest and quickly headed towards our first interest – The Roman Bath Spa.
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In the olden days, the Romans bathed here – that would be just an understatement, but truth. What else did they do here? Well, the dated men and women, got massages done, relaxed, talked and talked till they satisfied themselves overall.
What we see today are the beautiful remains of the ancient Roman Spa, well maintained even to this day with an amazingly designed circuit for the tour. A multi-lingual audio guide provided there helped us learn facts better and also gave us an imaginative explanation of how life was in the olden times. The current site is the remains of their Spa and the temple where many worshipped and even offered sacrifices. A display of all this, with very descriptive boards and ofcourse the guide, almost took us to those times.
It was noon already and our stomach began to rumble and growl. We stepped out and saw that the clouds had grown darker and denser. We knew, now, that we had little time left to make any plans.
We had some great Italian food and an even better gelato and stood near the Pulteney bridge thinking where we could go next. By the way, this is another great spot to visit – very romantic!
The parade gardens was also on our to-do list, but it was getting chilly and with the little one with us, was a bit difficult to cover. So, we dropped it. As we ran through the list of places, we seemed to have dropped every interesting thing, all thanks to the worsening weather!
Finally, without wasting time and energy, we elegantly boarded on to a HoHo and took the guided city tour.
We surely could have had a better visual treat if we could stay on the upper deck of the bus, but the drizzle just hurried us down. We just found a seat and there you go, sudden heavy rain followed immediately by hailstones! Can you imagine? I laughed as I dried myself a bit. I even heard somebody say – “how do these British manage in this weather? Can they really plan anything ahead of time?” Haha.. I think they have learnt to be equipped for all such surprises!
The city tour was definitely worth the 14.5 pounds. Let me tell you how it was – a chilly romantic weather, an informative guide (like the voice in a documentary), fabulous company of the loved ones beside you, all hugged up close and warm, beautiful glimpses of the ancient city passing by in front of your eyes.. what more can you ask for? Or maybe a good grab of coffee? Well, that was towards the end of our tour.
Soaked literally in the City of Bath, dried by the warmth of the company and the good hot cuppa ..
All is well that ends well!