Sunday, September 16, 2012

We saw the baths in Bath!

Well, we were going to go camping again for the bank holiday weekend in August, but...the weather was forecasted to rain, and frankly, me and raining while camping is NOT a good combination, and if you know me at all, you know that to be true.

It's been recommended to us several times to visit Bath while we were in England, so Jon and I decided to go to both Bath and Bristol.  Little did we know the two would be at the extreme ends of an English spectrum!

One of the things that I really appreciate about living in England, coming from Arizona, is the abundance of serious history.  You see it everywhere here in castles and cottages, walls and abbeys.  I love it.  I love thinking about what people must have lived like way back when and it's easier to see and imagine when there is so much of it still around.

Bath is an old, old city.  It was a major settlement for the Romans.  It's streets are tiny and curve everywhere.  There are cathedrals and amazing architecture everywhere you look.  I really enjoyed exploring Bath.  But the Roman baths in Bath were the biggest attraction that we saw.

The Roman baths at Bath is the best-preserved ancient baths and temple complex in northern Europe.  It is a world heritage site, and home to the only thermal springs in the UK.  In the first century AD, the Romans chose these thermal springs to build the most dramatic suite of buildings in Roman Britain.  The building is set right in the middle of Bath.

Some facts about the Roman baths:
-rate of flow is 13 litres per second or about 250,000 gallons per day.
-temperature is 46C or 115F.
-there are 43 different minerals in the water.
-the water is colorless but acquires its distinctive green hue from algae growth caused by it's heat and by daylight.
-the great bath is 1.5 meters deep and is lined with 45 sheets of mendip lead.

We did an amazing tour of the baths, but truly by the time we were done, we were definitely ready to leave.  It was a bit like Ikea, there was only one way out and it twisted and turned and there was so much more to see than what you would have thought. 

The Roman baths as seen from the upper deck.

This shows how elaborately the Romans had directed the flow of the water out of the baths and into the river avon.

Joci touching the warm water as it comes from the Goddess source, oh and listening to her guided tour.  What a multitasker!

I love how both kids really enjoy listening about the history of the baths.

Part of the Goddess source.

We actually got to drink some of the springs.  It's said to have healing powers, but to us it just tasted like well water.

The head of Roma.

Love this view of the cathedral right outside of the Roman baths.

August, 2012

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