If you know either mum or I well, you would know that regardless of having just returned to the UK from a truly ‘epic’ European adventure, this would not dampen our urge to do it all over again! With mum still having a week before she flew home, we decided to nip off to the historic English town of Bath for a few nights. Joel was exhausted from our jaunts around Eastern Europe and slightly bewildered that we were ready to get back in the saddle, so he opted to stay in London (hence he does not appear in the photos!).
Mum and I packed up our overnight bags and set off to this ever-so-cute Roman town, nestled in the English countryside amongst rolling green hills. After checking into our little room with an over-enthusiastic host, we set about exploring the ancient cobblestoned streets, finding something delightful at every turn. Sweet little cafes hid down well worn lanes, boutique clothing shops beckoned us in with their temptations, and we already felt in the ‘roman’ spirit before we reached the famed Roman Baths. As you probably guessed, Bath isn’t called Bath for no reason, and we were about to discover why…
…Perhaps the average ‘tourist’ (I’m trying not to class myself in that category in the UK anymore, but my enthusiasm gives me away) would not spend 3 hours within the Roman Bath complex. However your average tourist is not called ‘Susan’ and ‘Lauren’. We have to listen to every station on the audio guard, read every plaque (small and large) and pause and gaze thoughtfully at every scene. I have to say, my most enjoyable gazing in any historic monument anywhere in Europe took place in those Roman Baths. I found it fascinating imagining how the Romans built their thermal baths around the hot springs and enjoyed the complex as a place of leisure for all those years. That may be a tribute either to the quality of the museum or my vivid imagination, or maybe a combination of both. These baths were buried for years and years until in 1880 they were discovered again and in 1981 the site was excavated so we can see what it was like today walking through. It really was extraordinary and I would recommend anyone a visit as I learnt more about the Romans through the Baths than I have in any history book.
Such was the intrigue, that I ‘illegally’ dipped my hand in the 46 degree thermal water myself, and I can attest that it was very warm, and my skin felt unusually smooth for the remainder of the afternoon. I would happily have a dip, and mum was lucky enough to get to pay the new bath complex a visit the next day and also reported the same effects after a good old soaking. I was not a believer of the whole spa fad beforehand. I am now. Go the Romans, they were onto something!
So having spent the better part of the day whiling away the hours in the Baths, our stomachs were doing their fair share of grumbling so our sights turned to finding the most charming pub in Bath to satisfy our cravings. We tucked ourselves away in the corner of one of the smallest pubs I have been in, and demolished a hearty english pie each. Clutching our stomachs we stumbled back to the ‘inn’, grinned our heads off at spending such special time together, and dissolved into a land of sleep.
The next day we took a free tour around the city of Bath with a local guide who was fantastic and knew more than any person needs to about Bath. Nevertheless we got a comprehensive walkabout and enjoyed learning some history to complement our experiences. Again we thoroughly enjoyed wandering the narrow streets, coveting a great range of homewares, and admiring the beautifully landscaped parks and cottages. What a lovely place to live, and equally to visit.
It created lasting memories to discover and enjoy this cute English township with my mum, and will live on in a little corner of my mind as that extra bit special due to the company and laughs shared between mother and daughter. I love you mum! xx