Monday, October 10, 2016

Postcards from Bath

Arrived yesterday from London by train and found our lovely apartment in the middle of Bath.

Such a beautiful city. Built over a Roman city, which is now one storey down from the existing street level.  The Roman baths were not discovered until 1880, when the Roman pipes finally silted up and flooded the Georgian city that is here today. No one actually knew the baths were there until this happened and the town engineer had to dig down to see what was causing the flood.

Imagine their surprise when they found a stunning complex of Roman baths. Probably a coloseum and forum down there somewhere too.

Today the water in the baths was once rainwater 10,000 years ago and makes even the Roman's look like recent visitors. It fell and percolated down through the limestone hills that surround the town.  It is then naturally pumped up through a fault in the earth's surface via convection and comes into the baths at 46C and at over 1,000,000 litres a day.

You can see it bubbling up into the pool and then steam rising off the water. I stuck my hand into it and it feels like a very warm bath. The Romans then channeled the water once used, back into the Avon River. Ingenious.

The Georgians began visiting before the Roman baths were rediscovered to take the spring waters, which contain over 40 minerals. Mainly sulfur and iron. You can drink a warm filtered version today and we had several cups. Couldn't get enough of the stuff.

This afternoon we took a free walking tour around the town. The council provides the service and the guides won't take tips. So interesting and lots of info on Jane Austen and the cool set that came here from London for the winter season, to see and be seen and social climb.

 The Royal Cresent and The Circle are where the very rich resided and still do, are stunning. Tomorrow we plan to check out The Cresent on the inside and also The Assembly Rooms where Jane Austen and Lizzy Bennett vicariously, attended public balls.

Something I learned on the tour was that the Germans conducted a major bombing raid on Bath for one night only during World War 2, as a revenge attack on a Medieval town that the Brit's leveled in Germany called Lubeck.

The destruction of Lubeck was a great shock to the Germans. Bath was one of several chosen more for its cultural than military significance out of a tourist guide book, as revenge for the destruction of Lubeck.

 The Assembly Rooms

Some of the houses in the Royal Cresent were destroyed and rebuilt, Also much of the interior of   'Jane's' Assembly Rooms. War is the most stupid concept ever.

1 comment :

  1. Thank you for your mini tour. It sounds like a wonderful place and I agree that war is 'stupid'.


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