Our journey as a pair of Texans learning British way of life.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bath Times Two

Next stop in Bath was the Abbey, which was right next door to the Roman Baths. It's a 500 year old Gothic style church and has beautiful fan vaulting inside.
There are many interesting carvings on the outside. Take for example the two below, notice anything about the one on the left? That's Peter.
Did you notice that he's shorter than the guy on the right? He lost his head at some point.
Now look below at this picture, they re-carved his head out of the remainder of his beard...looks a little creepy to me! You can also see the large space that's open above his head. The next carvings are some angels coming down ladders on either side of the door.
Here's a closer look.
And the beautiful fan vaulted ceiling.
This church has a ton of great stained glass, but this was the only decent picture I got. These windows depict 52 scenes from Christ's life.
On to other interesting sights in Bath, are some that you might have seen in movies. The Royal Crescent, a large row of Georgian "condos" built in the late 18th century during Bath's heyday.
Then the Circus, another Georgian set of building, but in a circular shape around a courtyard.
And check out this crazy large tree in the middle of the Circus.

Friday, June 11, 2010

We inturupt this blog...

For World Cup MANIA!! So if you live under a rock or perhaps if your from the one country in the world who doesn't care about soccer (coughUSAcough), you might not know that the World Cup kicked off today at 3pm GMT (9am CST).

I on the other hand am fully immersed in a country that is going absolutely crazy over the World Cup right now among whispers that they have a chance to go all the way. Since the day we arrived we've been surrounded by St. George's Cross, better known at the flag of England. This week it looks like white and red has just been spread everywhere time 50!!

Here's proof...

This was the post office today...if you look closely just over the right shoulder of the man in front of me that's a TV playing the opening ceremony.
Our neighbors just across the street!
A restaurant just down the street from us...
They even have those silly car flags over here! I've seen these on scooters and motorcycles as well.
And these are just examples I took pictures of in a matter of an hour of walking around near our place today...it'll only get worse as the World Cup continues if England performs the way they should.
The first game for England is tomorrow versus the USA (eek) at 8:30pm GMT (2:30pm CST). I've been practicing my British accent, I don't want to be around if the US actually beats them! ;o)

And for your enjoyment, one of the many many commercials I'm tortured with every 10 minutes on TV.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bath Time

Bath is a lovely town not too far by train or car to the West of London and makes a great side trip while your here. It has a long history as it has the only natural hot springs in all of Great Britain. And during the Roman occupation in the first century, they built the Roman Baths and temples on the springs to pay worship to Minerva, the goddess of the hot springs. The Baths became buried overtime and went unnoticed below the feet of the town until the 1600s.

Later in the 1700s after visits to the baths by aristocracy Bath became a fashionable spa town to live and visit in England and high society could be seen everywhere, and people once again . Our first stop though was the Roman Baths.
The first view you get upon entering the Roman Bath museum is the great pool that was the main part of the Roman Baths, it's green from algae and you definitely don't want to go into it. If you must have a dip in the natural hot springs, try the new Thermea Spa down the street.
These statues are a 'new' addition to the baths to pay tribute to the Roman emperors and generals and were erected in 1897 when the baths became the museum it is today. A view from the ground level.
Even local ducks enjoy a dip in the warm water.

Attached to the main bath is a museum dedicated to the remainder of the Roman site where you can learn about the temple that was once on place.

This is a nice look at Roman engineering and is the Spring overflow which leads to...

The drain, which sends the water all the way to the local river over 400 yards away. (sometimes so mind boggling to remember this was all built almost 2000 years ago!) The main areas of the square, and the door in the distance on your right is the old entrance.
A large source of the water
The remainder of a gold guild statue or Minerva found in the drain.

And the remains of the steam room. These pillars were below the floor, which allowed the warm steam to circulate below the floor heating it and the room, you must wear shoes on that hot floor! But massages and such were given in this room before getting into the bath.

Overall we spent at least a couple hours here, with the great audio guide that was provided with admission. Well worth the visit!

Look for another post coming up on other attractions in Bath. I didn't want to bore you to death with too much in one post!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Battle in England

An interesting and somewhat unplanned stop on our trip was the town of Battle, which is the place of the Battle of Hastings, which was the culmination of William the Conqueror's Norman invasion.
Battle is a cute older town that offers some great buildings, restaurants, and pubs.
But the main reason to stop is to see the ruins of Battle Abbey and the Battle of Hastings site.
It starts with a nice walk around the grounds to see the important parts of the attack and actual battle of William and King Herold.Don't you just love our lovely sneakers and the audio guides around our necks?!Their is currently a boys private school on the site... but originally it was just an open field after which the new King William asked an Abbey to be erected and this is what remains.. (one of the most famous castles William ordered built was the Tower of London)

The breadth of the battle field.
And Camron conquering the battle hill!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cheers to my Parents!!

My parents are headed home today, they were here for two weeks and are to blame for my lack of posting and communitication. They dragged me around England the whole time. ;o)

It was a great experience and I saw more of England than I ever thought I would. I'm also anxious to share some of the places with you when I get my pictures uploaded...Edinburgh, the Lake District, Bath, Rye and Battle...this list goes on!

So in the mean time, here's to my parents, thanks for a great time and hope you arrive home safely.