Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bath

After Salisbury, we went to Bath.  There are two main tourist attractions in Bath: the old Roman Bath, built on a natural hot spring, and the Thermae Bath Spa, that also draws from the hot spring.  There are other things as well, of course.  It's a nice, old town, with restaurants and museums.  I particularly liked this bridge:
Google Goggles tells me that this is the Pulteney Bridge.  It's lined with shops on either side. Google didn't recognize Kristin, but I think that's a good thing.
There are also some famous, and scenic, neighborhoods:

The Royal Crescent, in Bath. Also, the back of Kristin's head.
The Circus in Bath.  That's Kristin to the right.
But the baths--ancient and modern--were the main reason we went.

The ancient baths are the best preserved Roman baths in the world.  They were built on top of a natural hot spring, and thus have a very unusual Great Bath--a large pool of hot water:
The Great Bath, with tourists.  There was a roof in ancient times.  It's open to the air today.
They also have the more typical baths from the Roman era: the caldarium, which was the hottest bath and more of a sauna, though it did sometimes have a small, hot pool; the tepidarium, or warm room, which usually didn't have any water; and the frigidarium, or cold pool.

The Caldarium, or rather, the stacks of tiles that held up the floor.  Hot air ran through this area (called a hypocaust) to heat the room above.


The tepidarium, or warm room

The frigidarium, or cold pool.
We also went to the modern day Thermae Bath Spa.  We figured that this was as close as we could get to the experience of the Roman baths. There's a large warm pool, several saunas, and a warm, rooftop pool.  There was no cold pool, and to be honest, the warm pool was more characteristic of the special setup at Bath rather than the typical Roman path, and of course, everyone was wearing swimsuits, but it was the best we could do.  They didn't let us take pictures inside, so you'll have to check out the Thermae Bath Spa website to see what it looks like inside.

After Bath, Kristin and I went back to London for a day, and then on to home in Boston, where we're currently recovering from jetlag.

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