Friday, September 12, 2008

England, part II: Aug. 30- Sept. 1

We crossed the Bristol Channel from Wales into England. First, we went to the city of Bristol to do some exploring. We actually didn't really like the city, as it seemed dirty and kind of depressing. Most of the shops, even in the touristy parts of town, were empty. We did enjoy an outdoor hippyish marketplace though!

The photo is of me by a really pretty and old house in Bristol.

After Bristol, we drove to Bath. I absolutely LOVE this city! All of the buildings are absolutely gorgeous! They are of course Roman and they have a uniformity of building material and style, but they are also so detailed and exquisite that the uniformity is just neat, not boring.

The photo is of Dad in front of the famous Roman baths.

The Roman baths are a feat of engineering. The water is very hot and comes from a natural hot spring. The water is now green with algae (and I suspect pollution), but at one point, the water was pumped into the main bath (in the photo) and multiple private baths of various temperatures. Men and women were not separated and they did not wear clothing in the baths. Bathing and exercising here served a very important social function.

People throughout the ages thought that the natural hot spring was a divine place, so like we do today, they would toss coins and other valuables into the water as they walked by, hoping that their wishes would be answered.

Tile mosaic from the baths

A sacrificial altar from the temple of Minerva (the temple was attached to the baths).

The Royal Crescent in Bath.

An aerial photo of the cathedral at Bath. I took it while on a helicopter ride... just kidding! I just took a photo of a photo in the entrance of the cathedral.

The inside of the cathedral. The ceiling and the floor are both exquisite!

Me, performing Mom's famous "pig nose" on top of the Roman Baths pig.
Painted pigs are all over the city in Bath. Some people make a point of walking all over the city just to see the pigs.

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