Bath, Bristol and Musical Chairs

Musical Chairs

A while ago I took the train to Bristol to meet up with Jade, an old school friend who I hadn’t seen since leaving high school. We were planning on exploring Bath and Bristol. I thought I would have a sleep on the train as I’d had a fairly busy few days previously with little sleep but nope that didn’t happen for several reasons.

The first being that my nose was too busy being pressed against the window to get much sleep. The views were stunning, the first part of the trip we went across the coastline, the water crashing against the rocky cliffs was mesmerising. They looked kind of silky but rough at the same time even though that doesn’t make much sense. The spray of the waves coming up the rocks was very dramatic and picturesque.

 

The second reason was that I played musical chairs. Someone was sitting in my seat when I first got on the train but me being me, I didn’t say anything so I took up residence on a different seat until I got told I was in someone else’s seat further along the line so I apologised and moved to a different seat. I then got booted out of that seat straight away so finally found another one and settled happily. Until the next stop when I got moved again. Thankfully the guy sitting in my seat was getting off at that stop so I managed to finally sit down without interruption for the rest of the trip.

 

A Reunion

I was kind of nervous about seeing Jade again seeing that we hadn’t seen each other for a good 12 or so years. I wondered if the visit was going to be filled with awkward silences and we wouldn’t have anything in common again. Luckily it was fine and just like we had seen each other only last week but with lots of catching up to do.

The only difference being that we were both a little older and she has lost her kiwi accent. I don’t know why I expected her to still have her accent after living in the UK for 12 years and moving over here quite young. It was funny listening to her speak. She probably thought it was funny listening to a kiwi accent after being surrounded by English ones for so long.

 

The Roman Baths

Bath was so fascinating, it is steeped in history. I got a sore neck from looking up so much. We visited the Roman Baths. I didn’t realise how old they were (the fact that they are called the Roman Baths didn’t give it away, I’m just that observant). The temple itself was built in 60-80 AD and the baths were built in the following 300 years.

Our first view of the bath was from a terrace that looked down on it. There was a man dressed in Roman costume wandering around, the giant pillars and the statues looking down on the great bath made you feel like you had stepped back in time, well if you ignored all the tourists milling around it did.

We had a wander around the museum before going down to the Great Bath. There was a display of all the jewelry they found buried and a lot of it is similar to jewelry worn now, in fact you could even think that they had just popped by the warehouse (a kiwi department store), aged them slightly and chucked them in the display cabinet.

 

The Curse Tablets

The Roman Bath curse tablets that are in the museum were interesting to read. They were written to the goddess Sulis Minerva to curse the perpetrators of thefts and the return of the stolen goods and date back between the 2nd and 4th century AD. The curses were written in Latin on pieces of lead and pewter then thrown into the hot spring, some of them were quite graphic asking for the thieves to go mad or blind. One even reads, ‘May he who carried off Vilbia from me become as liquid as the water. May he who so obscenely devoured her become dumb’

Nothing like a little justice!

 

The Roman Baths, Bath
A Roman at the Roman Baths

 

West bath
A west bath

 

The sacred spring
The Sacred Spring

 

Bath Abbey

After the Baths we had a little wander around Bath Abbey. The sheer size of these Abbey’s are overwhelming. Bath Abbey was founded in the 7th century and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries. It is a large gothic building and one of the largest in the West Country. It was slightly marred by the scaffolding and building work going on inside but still stunning nonetheless.

 

Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey

 

Sally Lunn Buns

On our way back to the car after a bit more exploration of the city we had to visit Sally Lunn’s House, the home of the Sally Lunn bun and the oldest house in Bath, being built in 1482. We were excited to try our buns later on that night along with our RJ’s licorice logs, fudge and NZ wine. By the time we had our dinner, sat around looking through old school photos and reminiscing about Kiwiland and high school we kind of forgot about our treats and only had the buns. They were quite different from Sally Lunn buns back home so were a little disappointed. They didn’t even have icing on them! But we can still say that we had Sally Lunn buns from the Sally Lunn House which is kinda cool.

 

The oldest house in Bath
The home of the Sally Lunn Bun and oldest house in Bath

 

Bristol

The next day we explored Bristol. We had a walk around the shops and St Nicholas Market, so much to see! The market is run inside the Exchange which was built in the 1740’s. A market was held every Tuesday and Thursday from 1831. The markets are now held in the Exchange Mon-Sat. After the market, we found the museum and then it was back to the train station. This train journey back was much more relaxed with no musical chairs so I was happy. All in all a great trip with lots of interesting sights saw.

Jem

x

 

Padlocks on a bridge
Padlocks on a bridge in Bristol

 

street art
There is loads of interesting street art in Bristol

61 comments

  1. Your trip to Bath and Bristol and the delightful train ride is fascinating. And so are the pictures.. To think of their spa experience even way back then! πŸ™‚

    1. I love architecture, it was the main thing that drew me to that side of the world. I got a sore neck from looking up so much!

  2. I live in London since 4 years and I haven’t been to Bath yet! Such a shame as everyone is telling me it’s such a beautiful place, but I’ve never been good at domestic travels :p I’m happy you had a blast with your old friend!

  3. I would definitely want to visit the Abbey and Roman Baths! The architecture of both are amazing as are your pictures! I’m glad you had a great time with your friend, it’s also nice catching up with old friends and discovering they have a passion for travel too!

  4. That is so cool – I’ve been to a similar Roman bath in Italy and I didn’t know they had any so far North! I haven’t been to this area anyways but if I’m ever around I definitely wanna go to the bath!

  5. That street art photo at the end is awesome. I really like Bath but regrettably we haven’t seen the actual roman baths! Clearly this a was a mistake and we’ll have to visit the next time we go home πŸ™‚ thank for the inspiration!

  6. Really nice to read more about England’s more quieter spots. Bath would definitely be a priority for me, its history seems fascinating.

  7. Bristol, hm never thinking going there. Nice writing. Too much text at the beginning without photos – personally for me πŸ™‚ But nice writing as a whole.
    Keep it cool!

  8. I love Bath – have been a couple of times recently for hen weekends. The Roman Baths is a must see! Bath and Bristol are fab trips for a weekend. Sounds like you had a great trip and reunion!

  9. Totally living vicariously through you right now. And it’s always good to reconnect with friends – especially in a foreign country πŸ˜‰

  10. I have visited Bath and Bristol quite a few times and I enjoy both. Funnily enough I have never gone inside the baths in Bath, I have just admired them from the outside. I’ve heard that there is a really nice spa on top as well but it is quite expensive.

    1. It is worth a look around, really interesting how preserved some of the baths are and there is a museum with some of the ruins and other artifacts in it as well.

  11. So glad you were able to meet an old friend again in a new, beautiful place like Bath! It was interesting to read about all the historical things you can do in the city and I had fun hearing about your musical chair experience! You should have just told the guy to give you your seat at some point…? πŸ˜€ You seem to be very nice!

    Thanks for sharing your experience and all the nice photos.

    Cheers,
    Anna

    http://www.annajustgofly.com

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I don’t recommend musical train chairs! I was too scared to ask for my seat haha πŸ™ˆ

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