Sometimes I still can’t believe I went to England.
There a random moments, as I sit and think of the past two weeks, when I feel like it was all a dream. It truly was the trip of a lifetime. I saw and did so much, yet a barely scratched the surface of everything there is to do in England. I travelled with my long-time friend, Jeneane and we stayed in Bath for most of our trip.
Bath is a gorgeous city, a fine testament to the Georgian Era of England, with stunning architecture and rich history, both ancient and recent. I fell in love almost the moment I arrived with its honey-golden buildings, shop-lined streets and lively atmosphere. I could immediately see why people have been visiting there on holiday for centuries.
I was struck by how clean everything was- especially for a city. I’m used to seeing litter here and there, wads of gum, candy wrappers, old receipts, cans, etc. lining the streets in forgotten corners, but even those nooks and crannies were clean in Bath.
Jeneane and I walked everywhere we needed to go in town – I easily walked 3 or 4 miles a day at the least. But walking through Bath is lovely. Just looking at the houses was interesting. I had to restrain myself from snapping photos of everything and just enjoy looking at things.
Our first day was mostly spent settling in – we stayed with my writer friend, Fabienne, at her flat. We completely took over her kitchen/sitting/living room area and there were days when it looked like our luggage had exploded. The jet lag was hard – I forced myself to stay up all day so I could adjust to England’s time, which was 5 hours ahead of my Ohio home time. And of course, I called home to let my family know I had arrived safely and to tell them of my raptures over my first sights of Bath.
The second day began our sightseeing in earnest. The Jane Austen Centre was first on my list of places to visit, so we headed there in the morning and finished with tea and scones for lunch. This visit, along with various other Jane Austen places shall get their own post later, so stay tuned.
In the afternoon we took a bus sightseeing tour of Bath, which we a lot of fun. Our tour guide was informative and funny – I found myself chuckling more than once during her narratives, and it gave us more than the usual spiel of regurgitated information on the history of Bath. For example, if you are familiar with the 2012 movie version of Les Miserables, the crew did some filming in Bath. *Spoiler Alert* They filmed part of the scene where Javert commits suicide by jumping off the Pont au Change bridge there. It’s quite a feat if you think about it – Javert jumps from a bridge in Paris, but his body lands in the river in Bath. Russell Crowe was not there during the filming – just three dummies. The crew came to Bath with three dummies but left with two. There’s still a dummy of Russell Crowe floating somewhere in the river in Bath…
There several gardens and parks to visit in Bath. I particularly enjoyed walking through the Sydney Pleasure Gardens in the mornings. I also visited the Holburne Museum of Art, the Roman Baths (how could I not? There will be a separate post for this as well), The Assembly Rooms, and of course the many shops located throughout the town. Bath is a shopper’s paradise – everything from the latest fashions and designer stores to quaint and quirky little shops where you never know what you’ll find can be found throughout the town. I spent the better part of two days exploring them all and spending way too much money. It’s not something I normally do (shopping) so it was fun to splurge a bit.
When it came time to pack my suitcases, I performed a feat worthy of Merlin (or maybe Mary Poppins) to get everything I had brought and bought during my time there packed securely. Truly, I have no idea how I managed it. Also, due to the large stack of books I bought, I was worried my suitcase would be over the weight limit for the airport, but it was just under, thank goodness.
I really came to love the city of Bath – so much so I missed it terribly when we went to London for the weekend – but there will be more on that later. If ever anyone plans a trip to England, I definitely suggest adding this city to your destination list. You won’t regret it!
Keep watching for more tales of my adventures in England, and don’t forget to vote in my Story Time poll. Coming up next, my journey to the mysterious Stonehenge!