Walking in Bath
You appreciate different things at different stages in your life. Although I've been to Bath (pronounced B-ah-th) twice, I've never felt the urge to take anymore there for a visit. All I remembered was the Roman baths.
But how my wrong I've been!
After a quiet night at a Bed and Breakfast in the outskirts of Bath (a town called Bathford), we drove a short distance to the Waitrose carpark in central Bath. The carpark had a limit of maximum of 4 hours for STG 4.00. We only had 4 hours to spare.
We walked to the Tourist Information Office and asked what we could do in four hours. The lady suggested that we take the free guided walking tour which would commence shortly, outside The Pump Room. The tour guide rounded us up and introduced himself and his colleagues - "we are highly trained volunteers - so please, no fees or tips." This would never happen in mainland China, I thought to myself.
We were split into two large groups of 30 each. Our guide asked us to use our imagination - many of the now big oak trees were nonexistent back in the days of promenade. Bath was a place known for its natural healing properties of its water. There was so much history and culture, so much more than the Roman baths where it got its name.
We walked to the Royal Crescent, a beautiful arched row of terraced houses/flats facing a big green field and the River Avon. Designed by John Wood the younger, it was considered at the time to be a big mistake. However, nowadays, even the smallest flat would fetch a million pounds!
Bath was one of the first commuting cities to London, and as a result, housing prices have soared in the last ten years. My neighbour had once thought of buying a place here. Another good friend has been trying to buy property for the past year now.
The two hour tour went quickly. I learned a lot of new things, among them "why are all iron gates painted black in England?" It makes an interesting trivial pursuit question.
1 August 2002 Thursday
When I told my mom that we were going to stay in Bed and Breakfasts, she responded with "No, I don't want my breakfast in bed."
When I told her that we would have English breakfast, she looked forward with great anticipation --- only to toss out the bacon and sausage with great disappointment. "I can't face so much meat in the morning." And the next day, she gave me almost everything on her plate, "Too oily."
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