Ben and Laura Europe 2008 travel blog

Bath town square

Enjoying the sun

Roman Baths

Pretty streets

Hop Pole Inn

Narrow little roads

Wotton-under-Edge

Cotswolds

It's so green!

The common

Manor House in Cheltenham


Bath was really interesting. It’s a very pretty town, with the River Avon running through it. Tuesday was as cold as ever, but atleast it was sunny. We wandered around the little pokey streets for a few hours, then went into Marks & Spencer to get some food. This has become our source for lunches! They have a really good selection of sandwiches, salads, pastas, drinks, cakes and everything else. They are all really fresh and, most importantly, cheap. We sat and ate our sandwiches in the town square, listening to a busker singing the same song over, and over, and over again! He didn’t know half of the words, so it was the same 3 lines in a different key each time. I never want to hear Bob Marleys Three Little Birds EVER again.

We then went to the Roman Baths and went on a tour through them. We both thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was interesting to find out how huge the baths were.

It was originally Celtic, and a sacred temple to their god Sulis. Then the Romans came along and built a huge baths complex around it and named it Aquae Sulis. After the Romans left, the Anglo-Saxon kings rebuilt it as a royal bath. Then, finally, the Victorians topped up the water and used it as a healing spa.

All the rebuilding actually means that the water level is a few meters below street level, and as it no longer has a roof, the water has gone a cloudy colour from the light reacting with the algae in the water.

It reminded me a little of Dalhousie Springs in Australia, except that there is a massive building around the Roman Baths!

We then went to the main streets and did some window shopping. We walked into a boutique shop which specializes in, you guessed it, bags! The one I got is very nice and handmade, and looks a bit like a quilt.

The Bob Marley bloke had seemed to follow us, singing all the time … We’re talking several hours on and he was still singing the same song.

By now the sun was disappearing behind the Georgian Row Houses, so it was getting rather chilly. We decided to look for a place to eat, but couldn’t find anywhere in Bath . We decided to drive back to Limpley Stoke and see if there was anything there, apart from the stuffy restaurant.

We had dinner in the Hop Pole Inn, and it was the best dinner we had had since leaving home. Ben had a couple of pints as we listened to the locals complain about the “piggery” and the “state of the roads”.

Ben was a bit tipsy, so I was the sensible one who had to drive up the driveway. No P-plates over here, so I could drive after having my one drink.

After a good nights sleep, we packed the car and made our way through the Cotswolds. I was a bit confused at first, as I thought it was a mountain range! After a few miles, I finally voiced my concerns that there were no hills, and got told it was actually a range of small towns!

We stopped in Wotton-under-Edge to look in the antique shops and Ben found himself a rare Napoleonic book. We stocked up on some items for lunch, and ate them on the town common, which was really just a bit of flat ground where 4 roads met. There was lots of people walking around with golf caddies, and not doing much golfing – perhaps because there were massive ditches everywhere?

We had decided the night before that we would go to Cheltenham that night, and were once again pleasantly surprised with our accommodation. This time it was a 15th Century Manor house with a 4 poster bed.

After checking in, we went to Halfords, which is sort of like Autopro, except they install car stereo’s. We selected a stereo and found out we were being served by the manager, who didn’t charge us for him installing it. We ended up talking to him for half an hour, and he was very disappointed we didn’t think too much of Steve Erwin.

Cheltenham was ok, not as nice or as old as Bath or Oxford, but it was nice enough.

We went to Halfords, which is sort of like Autopro, except they install car stereo’s. We selected a stereo and found out we were being served by the manager, who didn’t charge us for him installing it. We ended up talking to him for half an hour, and he was very disappointed we didn’t think too much of Steve Erwin.

After getting the stereo sorted, we made our way back to the Manor.

The next morning, we were heading for Derby.



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