94. As the Romans did. (Bath – Part 1)

So…. I’ve just finished packing for my Spanish adventure (15 days, 1 backpack yo! So excited!) and I thought I’d do one more entry to calm down before I head to bed. ♥

The week after my trip to Edinburgh, I’d gone on another overnight trip to sweet ol’ Bath! Trust me, those adjectives really resonate well with Bath.

However, I didn’t quite have a good first impression of Bath. Perhaps it was because Edinburgh had blown me away the previous week, or perhaps the fatigue of constantly traveling finally got to me, but I’d  thought it was just another English town. (Oh the audacity of such a thought!)

Upon hindsight, I believe it was really just me, y’know? Bath is truly such a beautiful place with so much to offer to the (un)discerning visitor and I was just… slightly jaded? That was to change, as you shall see. 😉

We were brought to the hostel first (Bath Youth Hostel) and its a hostel that I have a love-hate relationship with.

It’s quaint and wonderful to the eye but getting to the place was quite a climb though, with the hostel located on a (near 45deg sloped) hill. The first time was alright, since we were on the bus but heading back that night was… a nightmare (more on that later).

After settling our rooms, we took the bus back to town where I’d immediately broke away with Allison and we took off to explore the city together.

One of the most striking feature that’s in the middle of town is the Bath Abbey. The exterior of the abbey is enough to strike an imposing presence!

Can you see the angels climbing up and down the stairs? 🙂

But really, if I were to be honest, it was the inside that stole my heart away.

My favourite right now.

Not the biggest or grandest I’ve been to but definitely one of that resonated the best with me. I love how the interior was bright and airy, how the arched ceiling reminded me of seashells, how the hanging lights were so pretty, how everything felt…. Hopeful.

I mean, how can anyone not fall in love with that? ♥

After recharging my energy in Bath Abbey, we popped by (literally) next door to the all-famous Roman Baths!

Ever since the Romans arrived in Bath, life in the city has revolved around the three geothermal springs that bubble up near the abbey. In typically ostentatious style, the Romans constructed a glorious complex of bathhouses above these thermal waters to take advantage of their natural temperature, which is a constant 46°C. Situated alongside an important temple dedicated to the healing goddess Sulis-Minerva, the baths are believed to have attracted tourists from right across the Empire, and now form one of the best-preserved ancient Roman spas in the world.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/england/southwest-england/bath/sights/museum/roman-baths#ixzz2PLlk0IvZ

Now now… If you’re thinking of dropping by for just a daytrip, you MUST (need I emphasise it more?) visit the Roman Baths! It is the very centre of Bath’s heritage so it absolutely deserves to be on your itinery.

The Roman Baths themselves are below the modern street level. The balcony-ish thingy you see in the pictures are actually on the modern street level and was built to allow people to look into the excavation site. The modern street level dates back to say, the 19th century?

There are four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Museum holding finds from Roman Bath. & I’ve got to be honest: I am a history freak. I love love love anything to do with past/ancient  civilisations so this was like entering a theme park for me. I was beyond ecstatic!

These were all actual remains of the grounds! Omg, I was tingling with excitement the entire time! “Look, this was where they’d entered the bath, this was where they’d done sacrifice, oooh look at that, at that, at that!!”

What I found really useful too was the personal audio guide (gahh, I love these things!) that comes in several languages and gave you the time and space to really explore and understand the place!

I was like a kid entering a candy store!

Technically, the baths and all the other rooms associated with them are engineering and architectural feats. It is amazing, and ingenius really, how they were able to harness and channel the hot spring water into a series of hot public and private baths.

Visitors aren’t allowed into the water now though but y’know, it is still such a chill place to sit by and people-watch.

I might be biased since I love water so much but hey, even these ducks agree! 😛

One of the things I really liked in the complex was the Sacred Spring/King’s Bath:

It is the very heart of the site and here, you can actually see the water bubbling!

Apparently, in the past this was beyond human understanding and so it was believed to be the work of the ancient gods. In Roman times a great Temple was built next to the Spring dedicated to the goddess Sulis Minerva.

At the end of the museum, you get to have a taste of the water! In the past, people believed it has natural healing powers so people thronged to Bath to get treated!

I was *cough cough* adventurous enough to give it a try and truth be told, it just tasted metallic to me. I’d still prefer air Zam-zam, anytime! 😛

The complex is quite huge, with various rooms to explore so do keep 2-3 hours for the baths! Hey, you’d walk like the Romans did! 😀

We did a couple more things around Bath but I’ve got to head to bed now. Will be back (probably after Spring break) with more stories from all over, inshaallah!

Till next time, take care and stay positive! ♥

2 thoughts on “94. As the Romans did. (Bath – Part 1)

  1. Pingback: 269. Chester – Roman Remains | Raise your sights.

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