Lavender and Mint Steam, Anyone??

Trip Start Sep 30, 2006
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Trip End Jan 16, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, May 26, 2007

With a big sigh of relief, I adjust well to driving on the left side of the road, having only driven in Australia since leaving home. I make the drive from London to the west in relatively good time, only to encounter more traffic, this time caused by a festival. I use my intuition and make a local's shortcut by using my inherited sense of direction from busdriver Dad (thanks pa pa!) and avoid motorway traffic to head for Bath. I am gloriously happy to see it is still very much the same. On my entire world travels, this is my first repeat hostel. It took me a while to find, but I end up staying in the very same place I did in 1987! I vaguely recalled the exterior of the building, and it's long driveway lined with rhodedenrons behind a stone wall, but time erased any memories of anything else. After getting settled in, I walk around town forever, since daylight lingers until 10pm, and I don't go to sleep until after midnight, the start of a very bad trend up here in the North Atlantic. Bath is a lovely city of cobblestone walkways, hidden flowered alleys, large Georgian homes and streets that arch and buildings which collect the fading daylight, warming their facades. It is quite picturesque and as lovely as I remembered. I spent the next morning acquainting myself with the recently renovated public Roman Baths of Bath, touted as the finest in all of Europe. I have learned to take claims such as these with a grain of salt! Everywhere I go, something there seems to have the "best, biggest or grandest" of the world! Occasionally, these claims are true, but most of the time, it is simple bragging and citizens bursting with pride at their local attractions. I've decided this is ok. People are proud of where they live, and want to share it with tourists. Yes, they want to make a buck, but who doesn't?? I've got to say that in this case, they may be right. For a modest sum ($23 including a towel), you can totally relax in the mineral rich waters for 3 hours in an ultra modern spa facility next door to where the Romans enjoyed the same pleasure. I've gotta say, it's quite the life. Although overly crowded due to a bank holiday weekend, the waters and pools were fantastic and soothing. I've even grown accustomed and rather fond of the steam rooms for detoxifying the body. This bath house had 4, enclosed by floor to ceiling glass, with varying aromatherapy fragances united by a refreshing open group shower in the middle of the room. You could inhale mountain pine, frankincense, lavender or my favorite, mint eucalyptus. I went into that room several times.....heavenly. The rooftop pool was also fabulous, as the views of the cathedral, the cobbled streets below confuses your mind. Relaxing in an ultra modern facility, yet gazing upon ancient architectural wonders, throws one into a sort of time warp. Was King Arthur about to pop out from the window to make a speech?? Or would the characters from Persuasion make an appearence?  I decided that Bath was the perfect place for a long girls weekend when those cheap fares to London come across my email back in the hazy days of working.....
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