Bath (…finally!)

2 12 2008

ok, so I was actually in Bath quite a while ago now, when Mum and Dad were here on their holiday in September.  And you know – its only December now…. Anyway, as with Scotland, I wanted to write this and do it justice. It was so great to see them, I had a really wonderful time with the Fam.

Dad treated Shan and I to a weekend in Bath – all we had to do was get there.

I had booked Shan and I coach tickets for 11am on the Saturday to take us up there, easy enough – we’ll meet at Victoria Bus Station.  After leaving my place at 9.30am, I waited for the bus near my place – the Victoria line wasn’t operating.  I waited a good twenty minutes until the bus turned up – no worries, an hour and ten mins, ill be fine – unfortunately I hadn’t traveled through the city via bus on a weekend, and at 10:35 the bus pulled up at Holborn, (still quite a way away) and announced it was not going any further – so Im stuck on the other side of town to where I need to be with only 25 mins to spare.  I hailed a cab and jumped in and told him i needed to get to Victoria bus station – he said no worries – 15mins, 20min tops. As promised we were there in about 18 minutes – I paid the cabbie (cabbies in London are great!!!), and ran to the terminal, found Shan and went to the bus terminal – the signage around was crap, but we figured it out – then Shan asked “have you checked us in?” “aargh!!!! What?! We need to check in?!?”, Shannon (who arrived with plenty of time to spare, Im the one causing the rush) showed me where we needed to go, the queue was a mile long – I wasn’t even sure we needed to check in – we asked a guy at the info desk and he said we didn’t need to, the reason Shan had previously checked in was because she was taking a coach to Amsterdam, its a different process for international journeys – we flew back to our terminal only to watch our bus pull away…

Anyway, after using the internet cafe across the road to book another £20 worth of coach tickets, we sat at the nearby pub in the sun drinking a Bulmers and chatting to a girl waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up – she was quite nice, until he turned up pulled her up by her leather collar into a big wet kiss and then proceeded to tell Shannon and I about their sex lives and the pleasure they get from S&M. TMI guys… So we made our escape, caught the next coach and endured a pleasant two hour 45 minute coach ride to Bath through the English Countryside.

We met mum and dad, dumped our stuff in our hotel room and jumped straight on a hop-on / hop-off bus. Dad struggled to figure out how to put the earphones on, and mum kept making conversational noises to the tour guide – I guess she didn’t want her to feel like she was talking to herself – so there were lots of “oh, really?”, “That’s amazing” and that squinty eye “Ohhh!” laugh she does when shes pretending to find something funny which clearly isn’t just to be polite – Im sure it was appreciated.  We saw all the Bath landmarks, including the Cathedral that I was impressed by (until we nearly accidentally got caught in Mass there! oops! we made a stealthy escape during a hymn) There’s also a photo detail of a ‘ladder to heaven’ that the bus tourguide told us about – based on some dream that some guy had, what I liked more than the Angels ascending to heaven on it, was the one Exorcist looking one crawling down the ladder…(you may need to look at the bigger version on my flickr page to see it clearly)

Bath Cathedral
Bath Cathedral

After the city hop-on / hop-off bus, we went on another open top bus up the hill that over-looks Bath – there was less to see here, but it was still pretty – mum enjoyed the hot-air balloons, and Im not sure Shannon enjoyed anything based on this photo of her and dad:

Shannon and Dad

That night we went out for a lovely meal – Shannon was ravenous, and wanted the biggest meal she could find – so much so that when dad looked at one posh looking place shannon refused to go in until she talked to the head waiter “thith ithnt one of thothe plactheth where it’th jutht big plateth with thmall food on it ith it?” when he assured her it wasn’t, she agreed to go in. Ravenous as she was shan ordered three courses, and when her ravioli entree came out – three pieces of small ravioli on a giant plate – she was ready to hurt someone.  Luckily she kept her temper in check and the meal was very pleasant.

The next day we got up fairly early to beat the crowds to see the Roman Baths, after a breakfast where I spent the whole time freaked out by some weird dude staring at me (AND shannon dropped a baked bean in my tea) we went to the Baths to find a queue already formed (the British LOVE queuing!!!) We went inside with our trendy hand held tour guides and started discovering the wonders within (by listening to the kids tour, the adult tour was too wordy and boring). Here’s a shot of the inside of the main baths, the healing bath, and of Shannon interacting with the educational dioramas (nothing beats hands on learning)

Roman Baths

Roman Baths

Roman Baths Cultural Centre

We did a boat ride down the canal which was pleasant, although, once outside Bath there really wasn’t THAT much to see, so here’s a picture looking back at Bath, and one looking up at mum taking a picture looking back at Bath

Avon River

Mum

The Sunday came to a close and Shan and I made for the train, we had our allocated seats, but apparently that meant very little to the conductor and he told us to sit wherever we could find a seat – we couldn’t get a chair together, but got one behind the other – it was probably for the best that we weren’t sitting together as Shannon thoroughly enjoyed chatting away to anyone in the vicinity challenging them to tell her the next line in Abba’s “Waterloo” – no one could, so she continued singing the song using the word “waterloo” for every lyric.

At the end of that weekend – and this epic blog entry – it was so nice to have seen my family and have spent time with them all – lots of fun and hopefully enough exposure to last me til I next see them all!!!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go google the lyrics to “Waterloo” so I can get Shannon’s even-more annoying version out of my head…