Stonehenge and Bath
On Saturday, 23 September, we went to Stonehenge and the city of Bath. We used on of the bus tour companies, Golden Tours. It was a large but comfortable bus, with about 30 passengers. Our guide David was friendly and informative. The trip lasted from about 10am to about 8pm.
Robin made a similiar trip in March, but her trip went to Windsor Castle also. She really wanted to go back to Bath, though.
This map shows London on the right (notice how large it is, more than 30 miles across). Stonehenge is shown in red and the city of Bath is orange. As you can see, we travel about 90 miles, most of the way to the Atlantic Ocean.
It took us about an hour and a half to get from Victoria station to Stonehenge. As you can see, we made it.
Rocks with a sunny sky. We spent only 45 minutes here, which wasn't even time enough to listen to the audio tour.
Proof I was there. Stonehenge is in the middle of nowhere. There is a military range nearby, and not much else.
Rocks from 5000 years ago don't make great pictures.
Good pic of Robin. So we returned to the bus. If the tour guide says be on the bus at a certain time, they really mean it. At the appointed time, they count up the number of people. If it is less than the number expected, then they radio to their headquarters how many people were left behind and off we go. This is actually very nice for those of us who are considerate of people's time. The bus was pulling away when two women from our group finally showed up!
About 10 minutes from Stonehenge is a little village where we had lunch at a pub.
The fish and chips were good. It was another hour to get to the city of Bath, but very scenic.
Arriving at Bath, in the rolling green hills of the Avon valley. The architecture is in the Palladian style, made of limestone.
This is Orange Grove in the city center. Behind the people is the Avon River and Parade Gardens, where a Rugby match was being played.
Still on Orange Grove, this is Bath Abbey, right next to the Roman Baths (on the right). Construction of Bath Abbey began in 1499.
Where did Bath get its name? Roman conquerers discovered a hot spring here (the only one in England) in the 1st century and built baths and a temple to the goddess Minerva. Mideval monks kept the springs going, but Bath became the fashionable place to take in the waters when Queen Anne visited in 1702. The Roman ruins were rediscovered in the 1870s. A testament to English efficiency, the pools are still not open to the public (another 2000 years?).
Can you spot Robin? Can you spot the Roman general? Can you spot the faux-hawk?
Water flows from the spring into the open-air Great Bath at a constant 115 degrees F. According to legend, Bath owes its origin to Celtic King Bladud. He contracted leprosy and was cast out to live as a pig herder. One day, his pigs found the muddy spring and rolled around in it, clearing their skin. The king noticed this, and did the same thing. He was no longer a leper!
Looking up from the Great Bath at Bath Abbey tower.
We did not have much time left, but found snacks. Then we headed over to Parade Gardens and noticed these nice flower arrangements. The right one is in the shape of a bird.
This is the Avon river, with Pulteney Bridge. We could only spend an hour and a half here, but really wanted to spend much longer. We returned to the bus and drove home for 3 hours. We are planning to return for a weekend.