Our third and last day in Bath, we realize we didn’t plan our day very well. A couple of lessons we took away from our first trip.
A) If the hotel offers to hold your luggage after you check out, take it.
B) Don’t pre-book your return trip if you don’t know how long (or short) it will take you to wrap up the last sights.
C) When in doubt, sleep in.
We thought we had a lot of things to do on Sunday before our train was to leave at 6:45pm, but we are nothing if not efficient with our time. Since we had gone to see The Circus and The Royal Crescent the day before, we had several hours to just see the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, and the Botanical Gardens.
We had our bags in tow (see lesson A), and headed to the far end of the city for the Roman Baths. This was the main attraction Jeff wanted to see. We walked in and we were face first with the natural heat coming from the springs. It almost felt like a sauna walking around the ancient grounds. The space was pretty amazing. The water still flowed after all of these hundreds of years.
Unfortunately, the top of the balcony area had several statues of famous Roman leaders, but we found out those were put in during the 1800s. They were not a part of the original design. The building has been turned into an exhibition of sorts with videos projected on the walls and artifacts dug up from the area.
You continued along the designated path and got another view of a still working bath. But the rest of the building was dedicated to the almost tomb-like preservation. The largest room was for a swimming pool that still had a staircase that led the swimmers into the water.
We were able to sample some of the water that came up from the spa. I was not impressed. Of course, it was at its 80 degree temperature, but it tasted very metallic from all of the minerals not filtered out. But then again, it very well could have been the fountain of youth and I would never know.
The Bath Abbey was only open from 1-230pm on Sundays for visitors, so we had some time to kill. We made our way toward the Botanical Gardens. Since it was Mother’s Day, there were several families out and about enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. It had finally gotten to the high 60s, and we were starting to sweat. Something we hadn’t experienced outside the gym.
The smell from all of the flowers around us was intoxicating. The gardens just went on for ages as we were surrounded by buzzing bees and flowers. We were a little over the weekend and were getting anxious for the hours to pass. After Jeff had another turn at feeding the wildlife with peanuts, we headed back toward the Abbey.
The church was of course beautiful and magnificent. They were getting ready for Easter weekend and being Sunday, the Abbey was full of tourists with the same idea as us. The main thing I noticed that was different from the other cathedrals and churches was the amount of headstones and monuments covering the floor and walls. The only thing I could think was that Bath was a small town, so the Abbey is where everyone would go to be buried.
We left still feeling small and insignificant in history after seeing these incredible things, but the time read only 2pm. We still had over four hours before our train (lesson B). We sat for a while, drank some coffee, stared at each other and our phones before we decided to look up things to do in Bath. We would have exchanged our tickets for an earlier train, but it would have cost more than double the original price and we just couldn’t justify it.
So, what did we do? What everyone in America does on a Sunday afternoon: go to the movies. The only movie that we could stomach seeing was Labor Day with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. I fancy myself as an opinionated film critic, so going to the movies is usually an ordeal since I’m harsh and hard to please. But it was either that or Captain America. I had to draw the line somewhere.
We headed to the Komedia Comedy Club/Cinema and were given the option to either sit in the theater seats in the balcony or the bean bags on the floor. Sold! Our backs were killing us from lugging around our bags, so a bean bag sounded delightful.
We watched the movie and accepted the mediocre, sappy ending and then headed toward the train station now ready to head home. Our trip to Bath was really incredible from the spa, Stonehenge, to the last day of ABCs (Abbey, Baths, Cinema). We learned a lot about traveling and how to travel lighter as well as checked a few things off our bucket list.
Our next trip is to Italy next month! We have already begun the countdown and are very much looking forward to it! If anyone has any suggestions on what we should see in and around Italy, feel free to comment!