“Inspircation” Day 8: Bath from Above

Yesterday, we left Exeter and headed to Bath. Believe it or not, we did not get lost—in fact, we did not get turned around once! Of course, that still doesn’t mean that we didn’t experience any glitches. We arrived at our B&B, smug because we didn’t get lost, only to discover that we had actually arrived too early. The place was locked tight and there was not a soul to be found.

We went for a walk, grabbed a bite to eat, then came back only to discover the same. We were finally able to borrow a mobile phone from a kind local and phoned the number on the outside to track down our host. Turns out, he was just down the lane picking blackberries with his kids!

One of the reasons we came to Bath was for the history, and the other was for the Jane Austen connection. Marcie has been re-reading Jane Austen this whole trip and has been most excited to explore the city where she wrote her great works. Alas, our B&B host told us that Jane Austen only lived in Bath for three weeks and rather hated the city. He said that he thinks her connection to Bath is a rather tenuous one! Still, we found the house where she lived:

bath_marcie_janeaustenplaque

You can’t go in—just look at the plaque. Still, kind of neat and we might go explore the Jane Austen centre later on in our stay, even though it was not recommended to us.

Otherwise, we had fun exploring the city. This is Great Pulterney Street, which is supposed to be the widest in England:

bath_marcie

And this is the view of the bridge over the River Avon. It is one of those old-fashioned bridges that have shops on either side—though cars now back and forth, so it’s not quite as romantic as I had imagined.

bath_bridge

Perhaps the greatest fun of the day was visiting The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

bath_abbey_arches_interior bath_abbeyturrets

We decided to take the tour to the top. We made the last one of the day and climbed up the 212 steps to the top. The way was narrow and tight (though not as much as previous towers we’ve climbed). However, it was my mom’s first time making such a climb and I was worried how she handled it. Thankfully, it was not a problem.

Our guide was a senior himself (by my guesstimate, 110), and he pretty much jogged up those stairs. I was right behind him and felt compelled to keep up. By the time we reached the first level, both he and I were minutes ahead of everyone else. I asked him how many times a day he climbed up those stairs and he said it was sixth time that day!

bath_abbey_stairs

Finally, Marcie appeared, panting behind us (and I was waiting to photograph her!):

bath_abbeytower_marcie

On this first level, we could see the bells, the bell workings, and the clock face. There are ten bells in total and we got to see how they were rung and chimed (which are two different things, apparently).

bath_abbey_bells bath_abbey_clock

After this stage, we headed up to the very top to get some fantastic views of the city.

bath_abbey_viewfromtop bath_abbey_viewthroughstonehole

bath_abbey_top_mom

There was a small wooden door in one corner of this rooftop terrace:

bath_abbey_doorattopofabbey

One of the tour members asked what it was for and our guide responded by saying that, as far as he knew, it hadn’t been opened in years. Got me wondering . . .

Here are a few other doors and knockers that I found throughout the city. (My favourite one is the door knocker enshrouded in a spider’s web.)

bath_abbey_woodendoor bath_doorknocker_facewithorns bath_doorknocker_lioninwaiting bath_doorknocker_withspider

Next up: the Roman Baths!

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