September 5th, 2008 – by: hannah-lou
After working at The Bird in Hand 14th Century Pub in Knowl Hill
for a month, I had two days off, a Friday & Saturday. I'd been saving my earnings pretty hard and we'd received our credit card tips from the month of August and they were pretty decent so I had decided to book a trip to Bath
. I booked in at the St Christophers Inn in Bath for the Friday night and booked a trip to Stonehenge
and Avebury on the Saturday.
I got up early Friday morning, caught a taxi to the Twyford Station and a train to Reading.
One of the many pigs throughout the city.
From there I bought open return tickets to Bath. Tip to anyone, buy tickets online during the week, they get more expensive on the weekends. It was a dark, wet ride into Bath and my enthusiasm was dipping a little.. especially as I'd forgotten my umbrella. I got into Bath, and worried that the skies were going to open up on me, caught a taxi to my hostel. I was early, so I just left my bags there and went on a wander of the town. I had a map and wandered my way down to the Cathedral, stopping in at the Bath markets for a browse and some lunch first. I soon found that Baths harity 'project' was for people to create a standard pig and decorate it. There were over a hundred scattered through out the city. Quite amusing.
I made my way to the Roman Baths, the tourist attraction of the town and bought a ticket.
The main Bath.
On entry you are given this long phone like device that you can listen to when you walk past an area that is numbered. You key in the number and it gives you a brief but detailed commentary on what you are seeing and passing through. The Baths are beautiful and you really have to credit the genius of the Romans who trapped and utilised the natural springs. They worshipped the pagan and roman gods and ended up with a very mixed religion. It's unknown why they decided to leave the area after the Empire fell. The Baths were left to disintergrate and much if it has been repaired back to its natural form today, but it's only about one fifth the size it used to be. Once I'd finished the tour I went through to the restaurant where you could sample the spring water. It's warm and you can taste the minerals you don't get with good old tap water.
River Avon and Putney Bridge
That being said, I prefer the tap water!
When I walked out it was starting to rain and cold. Across the road from the Baths was a quaint little tea house. So I thought seeing as I'm in such a typically English town, I should have myself a tea and scone, read some of my book and wait out the weather. Well the tea was delicious and much needed to warm me up, and the massive scone with jam and clotted cream just served to make me fatter!! Was huge and really yummy! I sat there reading and slowly working my way through the scone for about half an hour til I couldn't eat anymore. Then I went for a wander through the town, buying some souveniers and fudge from the gorgeous guy behind the counter. It really is a gorgeous, quaint and very old town, with the beautiful river Avn running through it.
The old streets of Bath.
Putney bridge is a spectacular attraction of Bath town itself, the bridge boasting many little boutique shops with full windows giving a view out onto the river. Had it been a nice warm summers day it would have been lovely. Unfortunately parts of England and Wales had been hit by floods this weekend.
After my wanderings I went back to the hostel to check in. It was about 6pm and when I got to my room I met an Italian guy who was new to the area, and looking for work. He's English was very basic but he was very friendly. Another guy walked in as we were about to head down to the bar, so we invited him along. Rick an American, from California. We had a great time in the bar, drinks and shots are cheap for residents so we got pretty pissed. By 9pm we needed food to soak up the booze and went on a mission around town. We wanted something simple and cheap - pub grub. Unfortunately all the kitchens seem to close really early in the area and we ended up in a little hotel pub opposite the train station. I had a nice goats cheese bruschetta on salad, while the guys had fish & chips. Pretty average but we needed the food! We went back to the belushis bar below our hostel and had a few more drinks. For me though it was soon time for bed, I needed to be at the meet point at 8.30am the next day for the Stonehenge tour. It was great meeting the guys, that's one great thing about travelling and staying in hostels, the people you meet and the good times you end up having.