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London, Ipswich and Points Beyond
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Wednesday Aug 18th,2004

Day Trip to Bath

Had to be at Paddington station at 9:15 for a London Walks Explorer Day to Bath. This was our 3rd tour with Richard Bartlett... bet he thinks we were stalking him. Standard drill in the morning (ever notice how fast you can get into a routine?), I was up first around 6:30 and made coffee. Kel up next shortly thereafter, then the straggling kids about an hour later. Left the flat about 8:30 and took the Northern Line from Goodge to Charing cross. Swapped over to a Bakerloo Line train up to Paddington. Got there about 9:00. Bought some munchies then found Richard. We paid and got our stickers, then had 20 minutes to kill so went out for a smoke. This was a smaller group than the day before and way smaller than York. 21 of us and no slowpokes. No hassles with boarding the train except our coach was on the far end of the platform. Got a table for 4 then settled in for the hour and a half trip. Between Paddington and Reading there was a downpour which caused leaks in one, if not more of the carriages. Got some folk wet. We were fine.

Pulnetey Wier Arrived in Bath shortly before noon and the walk began. During the course of the day we had alternating heavy rain in 10 minute bursts then 50 minutes of sunshine. A little breezy at times, usually right before the rain came down. Had to break out the umbrella a couple times. Overall nice weather however. Richard gave us the history of the town, from the Romans who liked the water, thru the Saxons who did not, then up through the Georgians who turned the place into a tourist destination for the upper crust and the Victorians who turned it over to the unwashed masses to enjoy (Americans like us). He showed us all the great Georgian architecture, and did a great job illustrating what life was like back in Jane Austen's time. Matt was impressed by the lock system on the river and I love the weir just downriver from the Pulteney Bridge. After walking all around the lower town we were given an hour for lunch. We went over to the Market building and bought sausage rolls and pasties. We took them over to the square alongside the Bath Abbey, in front of the TIC and ate them while listening to a dude playing a recorder. After eating we got ice creams and drinks.

Bath Abbey Towards the end of our lunch hour it began to rain so instead of meeting Richard back at the TIC we decided to pop into the Abbey and listen to the noontime organ recital (the alternate meeting place for the walk). It was dry :-). Half of the group beat us there and Richard arrived 10 minutes later with the rest. The recital went on a bit longer than it usually does according to Richard so the walk got a later start than he would have liked. He showed us around the Abbey, which is the smallest Cathedral we saw on this trip.. Still huge. This is also the lightest of all we saw due to having much more plain glass than stained. Like Salisbury Cathedral, it has no screens between the Choir and the Nave. Spent about 20 minutes there then went outside to look at the angel ladders on the west wall entrance.

Richard then had us hike all the way up this huge hill (har har) to the upper part of town. Saw the Circus, a completely round circle of houses surrounding a green area. These 5 storey houses are almost all split up into flats of one floor each. One flat recently sold for 450,000. A restorer just finished unsplitting one of the houses and it's on the market for 5 million... guess we'll stay in Concord for a few more years. Then the Assembly Rooms where folks gathered each night for balls and supper. Over to the Royal Crescent then. A huge half circle of houses and quite impressive. A brisk walk back down to town then a look see at more buildings and shops. Made our way over to where the new Bath Spa should have opened 18 months ago... not quite done yet and way over budget. Ended our afternoon walk in front of the Roman Baths. Richard got any of us who wanted to, into the Museum as a group for a discount (6.50). We had a little over an hour to explore. Kel and I got cut off last time we were here, just as it was getting interesting, so this time we skipped to the end where all the really interesting stuff is. The beginning is all setup to let you know the lifestyles of those who came to the Baths back in Roman times. The end is all the actual ruins and stuff. Very cool. Actually saw everything with a little time to spare.

Baths in Bath Left the Baths and popped out to the Abbey Square, where we were to meet up with our group for the walk back to the train station. Kicked back for 15 minutes or so, then got all collected up by Richard and continued our walk. He pointed out the fake castle on the hill, created by one of the main builder's of Bath so he'd have something nice to look at outside his window. Got to the train station about 5 minutes before our train arrived. Richard took the opportunity to tell us about HIS Georgian house that he has restored and turned into a B&B. He handed out the adverts for it :-) Got on board, but were unable to get a table this time. We split up into twosies. Uneventful trip home.. Got back to Paddington around 6:30. Took a Bakerloo train to Charing Cross, Northern line up to Goodge. Matt and I hit Tescos to replenish our Guinness supply then met the girls up in the flat.

Ate in. Had to empty the place of our food since we were leaving in the morning for Ipswich. Adri and Matt had microwave Pasties, Kel had a Pesto Chicken thingy and I had a steak and mushroom pie. After dinner we watched the final episode of Firefly: Objects in Space. Did some cleaning up of the flat then hit the hay around 11:00.



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   Last modified April 26 2014 17:37.