Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Don't Drink Bath Water

Wednesday led our group to Bath England to see the Roman Baths, the Bath Abbey and to explore the city of Bath. This time I knew that rain was in the forecast so I was sure to wear my yellow raincoat (also known as my Gordon's Fisherman jacket) and bring my umbrella. We did run into a little bit of rain--not much, but I was glad to have my raincoat.

The first thing we did once we got to Bath was look in the Bath Abbey, which was beautiful. It had a fan vaulted ceiling which was really interesting and different from any of the other chapels that we have seen thus far. There was also a very intricate stained glass window that depicted 56 scenes of Jesus's life (picture in slideshow at end), which was, as you can imagine, a lot to take in.

Next stop was the actual Roman Baths. The museum covers every facet of life when the Roman Baths were in use--it detailed why and when they were built and used, social life of the time, relics from this time period, the explanation of how the Baths work and so much more. What I thought was totally awesome was that the baths are so hot but they aren't heating manually but rather by nature. The baths are filled by a geothermal spring and it take a very long time for the hot water to get from the geothermal spring to the surface so really the water that is currently in the Roman Baths could have been from ages ago, which I think is crazy.

Also included in the museum is an audio tour where you type in a code at any given location to listen to audio from your own personal player. Caitlin, Libby and I found that it was much more interesting to listen to the kids version, which featured characters, sound effects and random facts--much better than the dry adult version that seemed to be a little too much information!

At the end of the museum there is a drinking fountain straight from the spring which means it is very warm and full of all kinds of healthy nutrients. And since healthy rarely equals delicious, the water was pretty, well, disgusting. In my opinion it tasted like copper or blood and it was warm and all together drinking it was not a pleasant experience. But it was cool, I guess. I mean I was in England when it happened, so that makes it awesome in and of it self.

We finished off the day trip exploring the city of Bath and seeing what is referred to as the Georgian Baths--the social culture that emerged when Bath rose back to popularity during the Georgian era. We saw Queen Circus and Royal Crescent which are beautiful houses and we were able to tour a house. My favorite part of this was Royal Crescent because it was actually created to look like the countryside since the elite wanted to live in the countryside because of the views but the city to be near the social center. It was cool to see all this green space in the middle of the city.

Below are some of my favorite pictures from Bath:

It was back to Oxford after that where we made our first real dinner as a flat--burritos. It was fun cooking together and I think this will be a great way to keep the cost down in terms of food this semester.

We have one more Heritage visit to go--Ironbridge on Friday.

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