Raquel and I are up early as we are heading to Bath for the day. I know quite a few people who have been to Bath and every single one of them have said it’s a beautiful city, so both of us were really looking forward to the trip. We only had a day for it and in our infinite wisdom we didn’t look up the sites or anything remotely touristy. Our goal was simple: Lets drive to Bath, park the car and walk until we find something interesting.
The drive to Bath was pleasant as it was more of the typical greenery expected from the Great British countryside. There was one tiny little hiccup on the drive… Considering that I’m not used to driving in these narrow roads, I had the nasty habit of driving too close to the pavement side of road (which had cars parked all along) and I happened to hit the wing mirrors of a couple cars… No damage done but needless to say that Raquel was slightly concerned with my urban driving skills.
We parked the car and did what both of us like doing: Walking and exploring cities aimlessly. Needless to say that walking around Bath aimlessly is not the worst thing to do in the world and it happens to be even better when you are accompanied by someone special. Even though the weather was cloudy and dreary, I could spend the whole day just wandering around the city as it really is a gem.
Bath is a historic Roman and Georgian spa city. It is a World Heritage Site, situated 100 miles west of London. A unique city, Bath is famous for its hot springs, Roman period baths, Medieval heritage and stately Georgian architecture. The sights in the city include Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths, Pulteney Bridge & Pulteney Weir among others.
Our first stop was the Abbey, the Gothic church in the centre of the city, which basically where most of the sights are concentrated. The Abbey is stunning, but personally having seen some stunning churches and cathedrals (for free), I thought the entrance fee was slightly exaggerated. We made our down towards the river and walked along it until Pulteney Bridge & Pulteney Weir.
The bridge is interesting as it has shops along both sides of it and is one of only four bridges in the world with shops across the full span on both sides. From here walked over the bridge to see more of the typical Gregorian terraces which characterize the city. At this point our stomachs were started yell rather loudly and we had parked the car by a meter and our time was running out. We re-parked the car in a parking lot (which we missed earlier) and made our way to a restaurant for lunch.
Lunch was followed by some more walking in the town centre along where the Roman Baths are (though we did not go into the baths) and further along the river for some more photo moments. To be honest it was not a long day and we noticed as it was soon past five and we decided that it was time to head back towards Bourton for the night. We did miss one of the other big attractions. The Royal Crescent, but I guess we will be back to explore that on another day.
It was a long day and when we got to Bourton, I received phone call from a friend (in London) telling me things in Libya were looking a lot worse. We went to the pub to watch the news and made frantic (and failed) attempts to reach my friends and colleagues in Tripoli. It was 11pm when I received a phone call from a former colleague who is now working in Ghana.
“Tony, DO NOT go back to Libya unless specifically told by the company. You’re manager and housemate left today. The others are going to be evacuated soon!”
This is not what you necessarily want to hear when you are worried about your friends and colleagues however did pass on the message that everyone there was ok. It was a somber end to a good day, but I was thankful for my own safety and that of my friends.
The following day, Raquel and I made our way back to London. We stopped at quaint little village where we had something to eat and walked around the village to stretch our legs after being stuck in the car for a while. The village once again reminded us of those typical picturesque countryside scenes you see in movies. In the end that was what the trip was all about. To see another side of the UK which both us weren’t very used to.
That evening we enjoyed a movie and I packed as I was heading to South Africa to spend some time with the family.
It was good spending six days in the UK if only because it meant six days with Raquel.