Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Monday 7th July 2008 - being a tourist (72)

Yesterday was 'tourist' day. We had breakfast and got going reasonably quickly. The first thing we did was to go on the tour bus, which took us all round the main streets and sights of the city. The commentary was very interesting, but I particularly remember what he told us about Queen Victoria. Apparently she visited the city when she was about 11, to open the Royal Victoria Park, and one of the newspapers commented that her dress was rather dowdy. She took great exception to this and vowed never to visit Bath again - and she didn't. Even when she had to pass through Bath in her Jubilee Year she had the blinds on the train windows drawn so that she wouldn't see it!

So here are a few of the main sites of the city, together with some snippets of history for you history buffs (you can just look at the pictures if you want!!). Some of the pictures are mine, some come from a postcard CD.

There has been a recognisable settlement at Bath since before the time of Christ, but the earliest remains date from AD43, when the Romans arrived. The first church was built in 1166, but the current building dates from 1499. Like nearly all of the buildings in Bath it is built from the beautiful mellow, yellow Bath stone.

Bath features greatly in two of Jane Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, and much of the city dates from Georgian times, when it saw a huge resurgence due to the popularity of 'the waters', believed then to heal all sorts of maladies. It actually tastes absolutely foul, very sulphurous!

The Circus was built by John Woods the Elder and the Royal Crescent by his son , John Woods the Younger. The Circus was built in 1754, and is indeed a perfect circle intersected by three roads. The Royal Crescent was built in 1766. Nowadays they cost an absolute fortune, well out of our league.
The Pulteney Bridge was built in 1733, modelled on the Ponte Vecchio in Italy. It is probably the only bridge in the world that has shops on both sides of the bridge. 

Are you still with me? Can you bear a couple more photographs? I do hope so.

Bath is an ancient city and still has loads of little alleyways and narrow streets crammed full of shops. I didn't buy a lot but I did pop in to the Cath Kidston shop and buy a new peg bag and oven glove in their sale. 

And of course, I went pig hunting. Here are just a few of the one hundred pigs in Bath.

By that time I needed a rest! I don't know about you, but I never sleep well in a strange bed, and I was exhausted. In the afternoon, thanks to Gabriele and Cheryl I managed to find a couple of quilt shops in the city - one just over the road from our hotel. I didn't buy a lot, but it was lovely to wander around different shops. I'll post a picture of my purchases another time.

After that it was time for another rest, dinner and bed.

Today we're driving around the area to pinpoint other places that we would like to live, though the news on our economy is so gloomy that it may be some time before we can sell our house.


Lori said...

Thanks Amanda!
I love to look at the way the buildings were constructed. The Romans were smart.
The pigs are fasinating. We have horses here.
I hope you get some rest.
You are a wonderful tour guide. Thanks for sharing!!

Candace said...

Hi Amanda, I love the history lesson, the pictures of the city and its sights, and the pigs. I think some of the pigs either were decorated by quilters, or could be quilters if they wanted to give it a try. Your comment about the waters reminds me of my youth. We lived in Jacksonville, Florida, and we had sulpher water in our well. We were very used to it, in fact my mother used to say that other people's water had no taste, but we enjoyed other people's reactions to it. The zoo seemed to be where we always took company, as it was free, and gave us kids much pleasure. They had sulpher water too, but much stronger than ours as it ran so much, and seeing our out of state visitors try the water coolers was priceless. (Maybe we were a little warped, my brothers xwife thought so)
Looking forward to the next chapter.

Candace said...

PS - I take it pegs are what we call clothespins. I like that, it's very descriptive.

Amelia said...

Loved your tour of Bath...really enjoyed looking at the colorful pigs.

Have you got to eat anything out of the ordinary since you have been there. Is there a particular dish that Bath is famous for?

Enjoy yourself.


Julie said...

Yes, this economy is horrible (same here)! I hope you can sell your house soon. Thanks for the photos and the history lesson. I love it!

Amy (lilme2_99) said...

How sad, regarding your house.

However, thank you for "taking us along" on your vacation. The history you are sharing is absolutely magnificent to me! If only I could see it all in person.....

pictures will suffice, though.

And the pigs are quite........"interesting" (for lack of a better word)

Renee said...

I know I haven't been here in a while, but I sure do love to read about your travels. I wish I could have been there. I love to be the tourist. My husband, may he rest, didn't like to do the touristy things, so when we were in London, I missed out on seeing the "sights". But we did do a road trip and saw a lot of the country from Dover to Scarbourough. I even went to the "fair". Hope you're having a great time. Renée

Kay said...

Oh I love this, Amanda. The first country overseas that we took our children to was England and we loved Bath. It just brought Jane Austen alive for us....for me, that is. I remember the Circus very well. It was such an intersting place. Your photos bring back such lovely memories.

Katie said...

I love the pigs. We were just visiting my son in Norfolk, Virginia and there were mermaids all over the place. Would have been great to do a mermaid tour! :-)