What a fun weekend I had!
At lunchtime last Thursday I went to a bookshop near my work to look for Persuasion or Northangar Abbey by Jane Austen as these are the novels she set in Bath. I bought Persuasion and started to read it, hoping to finish while there or shortly after. I was worrying a bit while in Bath, as I read Persuasion at every chance I got, and Bath was mentioned but the main action wasn’t happening there (I worried: “Will the book get there while I’m still here?”). The book gets to Bath halfway through the novel (and I was still there at this point) and then stays there!
Paul and I caught a train to Bath on Friday. After dropping off our bags at our hotel we went to the Thermae Bath Spa for a four hour session of spas and steam rooms.
(above, view from the hotel window, below, Paul in front of the hotel)
<img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3093/2801089566_d213523096_m.jpg" width="180" height="240" alt=”Paul out the front of our hotel – The Windsor: Elegant Townhouse Accommodation” />
It was quite nice but a bit too long for my liking (which is why I took Persuasion with me and read it in the cafe after two hours of being wet!). Paul loved it though and wanted to go back for a second session.
Above, the front entrance to the Thermae Spa. Below, the spa from the street, if you look up you can see where the rooftop pool is and below that is a balcony where you can sit out in the sun.
Friday night we wandered around, looked at the Circus (below), and the Royal Crescent and had really yummy dinner at a nice restaurant.
On Saturday morning we went to the Roman Baths and we were there for two and a half hours! Paul took hundreds of photos to put on Photosynth!
After learning a lot of history we went up to the Pump Room and drank the yucky, warm, mineral-filled water from the spring and then had yummy lunch in lovely surroundings.
Above, the Pump Room, below, the fountain of spa water in the Pump Room
After lunch we went to the Jane Austen Centre which was a strange little museum. We got there at 2.20 pm and couldn’t go into the museum until after we’d been to their introductory talk and the next one was at 2.45pm! Anyway, I found the talk interesting (about Jane Austen’s associations with Bath) and then we went down into the museum to look at the display of costumes from various television and film adaptations of her stories. I hadn’t realised that Jane Austen was only twenty when she wrote Pride and Prejudice. She died at the age of 42 having written six novels (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Emma, Northangar Abbey, Mansfield Park). I would probably only recommend the centre to Jane Austen enthusiasts. I hadn’t read any of her novels until this year actually: I read Pride and Prejudice earlier in the year and quite enjoyed it, and I finished Persuasion on Sunday. Once the novel actually got to Bath, I enjoyed understanding the Bath references!
We had a nice dinner on Saturday night but we were seated downstairs where it was quite warm and they seamed to put all the customers with (non-English) accents down there! Weird!
On Sunday morning we wandered around the town a lot more (in some drizzling rain) and went to a garden at the back of one of the Circus apartments and we walked through some parks and up hills and saw some nice views of Bath. We left early afternoon on Sunday. We didn’t go to the William Herschel Museum but I think it would have been cool.
Above, at the train station, waiting for our train back to London, below, on the train.