Europe 2010: Day 3 – Bath June 27, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Day 3: Bath

This morning, we boarded the train out of Pandington Station in London, enroute to Bath for a 3 night stay. Bath is an ancient city where there are Roman ruins. The place came highly recommended from Suzanne’s coworkers.

The Padington station was huge and crowded. While lining (or queued up as the Brits would say) up to ask for boarding information, I encountered some rude and aggressive travelers who had some pretty nasty words for this Italian couple who was holding up the line. Suzanne grabbed some coffee and breakfast pastry while waiting for me. The apple-filled pastry she got was incredibly delicious, by the way. We’ll have to get some on the way back.

The train ride was pretty smooth and lasted about 90 minutes. It was neat to watch the country side rolling past us from the windows. With distinctly-English town names like Dorset, Sommerset, and Wiltshire, I started to conjure up movie images of 19th century Jane-Austen era. Austen did spent 6 years living at Bath.

We got of the train and decided to walk to our The Holiday Inn Express. We lugged the luggages across the Avon river. The hotel was a bit further than the lady from the tourist office at the train station lead me to believe. I was sweating under the warm morning sun by the time. I remined Suzanne how we over-packed and we both laughed at how amateurish we were as travelers. I remembered how Vince, who travels extensively, told me how packing light is an art. No doubt from me that it is.

After a quick afternoon nap, we took a 20 minutes stroll to the town center of Bath. Most of the buildings in the town center are pretty old. Their exterior are unpainted and the entire town seemed to be of the same earth tone that come from the building materials of stones or bricks. Very neat and pretty.

Bath Abbey

The original abbey was built in the 8th century, and the current one was rebuilt in the 1499. It was a large and was impressive with its imposing height and decorated exteriors. I was simply in awe. We missed the last guided tour of the day so we didn’t go inside. We grabbed a quick drink and strolled around the place. We were happily snapping pictures. 🙂

This trip reminded me how I haven’t been using my camera this past year as I had in the past. It was the combination of the new job at Netflix and the new house that I found little time for snapping pictures. It took a few days to get comfortable with my camera again. It wasn’t so much that I was bumbling with my camera, it just took awhile to get away from shooting the touristy shots. It’s odd. Good opportunity to dust off the cobwebs I guess.

But I diverge… We had dinner reservation at Sally Lunn’s House. We got lost looking for the place. A local gentleman came to our assistance. A friendly chap as the Brits would say. We did exchange emails, we both laughed when we heard each other’s last name: Wooley & Lam. 🙂 Thank you Terry Wooley for your help.

Sally Lunn

The restaurant was founded by a French lady some 300 years ago. The place billed itself as the oldest house in Bath, completed in 1482. It was decorated with many of interesting old items: a cupboard where Sally’s secret recipes were stashed and map showing Sally’s escape from France to England. In fact, upstair was a museum. She’s famous for her Sally Lunn’s Buns, which were well-known through out Bath in her time. She used them as “trenchers” which, before the wide use of plates, were bread that doubled as plates. People eat them as part of the meal. We had some liver pate’ on Sally’s Buns– yum! Our lamb shank and beef medallions came on the yummy buns as well.

A drink in front of Bath Abbey

With our tummies stuffed, we headed to the Huntsman Pub to meet up with others for a “comedy walk” called Bizarre Bath. Right off the bat, the comedian cautioned that we should expect no history nor useful information about Bath from the 90-minute walk. The guy was good, very funny and improvising. The group was about 50 people large, and at 8 pounds per, this guys is doing well I thought. He called me up to the front at one point and want the group to give me the cold stares that he taught us to do to tagging strangers. He made a joke about how I look like a floating head because I was blend in the walls with my beige top & short, which is funny because I made the same comment to Suzanne earlier in the day!

So as I was receiving the disapproving stares from 50+ pairs of eyes, Suzanne came to the rescue and shouted to the group “Hey, lay off people. That’s my husband!” To which the guy responded “she’s a feisty one, isn’t she?” “Yes, she is…” I said loud and proud.

2 Responses to “Europe 2010: Day 3 – Bath”

  1. I’m really excited for you guys that you are traveling in England! Thanks for posting on your blog as well, since I’m not on facebook! The tradeoff of travelling heavy is that Suzanne looks really cute in all these Europe photos, which you’ll be looking at and treasuring for years to come, instead of looking like a schlubby tourist in a vintage Bay-to-Breakers T-shirt, tan shorts and running shoes!

    When you get back, rent “Persuasion” (Jane Austen – the Amanda Read/Ciaran Hinds version), if you want to relive Bath!

  2. Thanks for the tip… We enjoyed Bath very much!

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