Bath Ė 2000 Years of Lead Poisoning

 

Off to Bath, a tourist attraction ever since the Romans arrived around the turn of the millennium, er, the turn of two millennia ago, umm, around the turn of Christ. OK, 2000 years ago.

 

Bath Abbey

 

Bath Abbey in the distance.Its only 500 years old and actually has a lot of Roman structures underneath it.

 

Bath River

 

Bath had a second heyday in Georgian times (mid 1700ís) so much of the architecture dates from around then.

 

Old Ladies Bowling

 

I was wandering through a park and happened upon some old ladies bowling.Its kind of like shuffleboard, but with rolling balls.

 

Georgian Architecture

 

Typical Georgian street:White stone row houses.During the 1800ís pretty much every building in Bath turned black with soot.Thankfully theyíve forced everyone to clean up the stone in the last 30 years or so.This street has some historical significance as up on the left lived:

 

 

William Herschel House

 

William Herschel.He discovered Uranus from the backyard of this house in 1781.

 

 

Bath Abbey Angels and Ladders

 

Bath Abbey up close this time.Famous for its carvings of angels climbing ladders on either side of the front door.



Roman Bath

 

And finally we get to the baths themselves.The Baths museum is quite enjoyable and full of cool 2000 year old stuff.This pool was originally built by the Romans, lined with lead sheets to hold the water in.The original plumbing still works, draining the excess water from the warm spring into the river.

 

Bath Pediment

 

Pieces of the original temple at the bath site.The spring was considered sacred by the Romans.Some of the original temple complex can now be seen underneath the streets of Bath.

 

Bath Mosaic

 

Original mosaic work.Looks pretty good after 2000 years.

 

Roman Bath and Bath Abbey

 

The old and slightly less old.

 

Roman Lead Plumbing

 

Original lead plumbing.The Romans seem to have some sort of lead fetish.

 

Royal Crescent

 

The Royal Crescent.More typical Georgian houses.

 

Bath Countryside

 

Everything was closed, but there was still plenty of light left, so I went the only direction that seemed right: Up.Itís always a good experience in a city you donít know.Just take whatever road goes up and keep going till you reach the highest point you can find.Sometimes youíre rewarded with views like this one.

 

I then went back to the hostel I was staying in and proceeded to go out drinking with some Canadian guy and a German guy.Tomorrow I take a bus tour around to various points around Bath

 

Recommended Reading for Medieval England:

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. The 1989 masterpiece by Ken Follett (normally a writer of spy thrillers) follows the construction of a cathedral in southern England for several generations in the 12th century. If you want to experience life in medieval England, Follett lays it out in enthralling style with colorful characters and unforgettable storytelling.