Bath
January 12 - 14, 2001


Photos & Text 2001 by
Len Schwer
Revised 11 March 2001


To Bath and Brock's Guest House
  Our Great Britain adventure started from SFO and the new international terminal that recently opened in Dec 2000. After check-in we found the Red Carpet Club and settled in to await our 10 hour flight to London's Heathrow.
  After arrival in Heathrow, we made our way through Terminal 3 and down to the Heathrow Express for a quick 15 minute ride to London's Paddington Station, where we waited briefly for our train to Bath. The first class accomodations on the train were very comfortable.
  Arriving in Bath we took a taxi from the Bath Spa Station to our first B&B - Brock's Guest House. The room was very spacious and well appointed with all the amenities American's are used to in quaility hotels -- even wash cloths (flanels) were provided! We were lucky to have a room on the first (2nd US) floor as there was only one other room occupied during our off season stay. We experience our first English breakfast of eggs and bacon, with grilled tomatoes and mushrooms -- an English breakfast staple!
  The owners, Marion & Geoffrey Dodd, were off on Holiday in Canada, but we were well looked after by a very nice lady from Seattle, named Jody, who cares for the B&B while the Dodds are away. I fully agree with Rick Steve's recommendation of thhis most lovely Georgian townhouse.
SFO-RedCarpet.jpg
SFO New International Terminal Red Carpet Club.
HeathrowExpress.jpg
Heathrow Express to London
PaddingtonStation
Paddington Station, London
Train2Bath.jpg
Train to Bath
Brocks.jpg
Brock's Guest House
BrocksB.jpg
Brock's Guest House B


City Sights
  Brock's Guest House is a very short walk form the famous Royal Crescent, a semi-circular arrangement of houses in the typical Bath Georgian style with the beautiful cream colored limestone that characterizes all of Bath. We met two nice young ladies, who were also taking a tourist photos, and exchanged cameras for pair pictures. The other 'heads' picture is a trick Augie taught me that we use more for grins than memorable pictures.
  The big tourist thing to do in Bath is visit the Baths ... Roman Baths. When the Romans ruled this part of England, they took advantage of the natural hot springs in Bath and built a Roman Bath. Interestingly, the Baths were rediscovered in the late 1800's when a resident complained to the City of a damp and warm basement. Excavations in his basement led to the discover of the Baths and their eventual Victorian restoration; by the way, the houses that were located above the Baths were removed, so no more complaints about damp basements.
  The River Avon, of Stratford Upon Avon fame, run through Bath. There is a very nice path for miles along the river and we found out later, that walking less than a mile along the river takes you out into the country side to enjoy the rural area near Bath.
  The most famous resident of Bath is probably Jane Austin. There is a small museum and gift shop on one of the main streets in Bath.
  Inspired by Jane Austin, we made our way back down to the train station and stopped at the Click Internet Cafe to write some missives to the folks back home.
RoyalCressant.jpg
Royal Cressant
RoyalCressantUs.jpg
Royal Cressant Us
RoyalCressantHeads.jpg
Royal Cressant Heads
RomanBaths.jpg
Roman Baths
RomanBathsB.jpg
Roman Baths B
RomanBathsLen.jpg
Roman Baths Len
BathsModel.jpg
Baths Wooden Model
BathAbby.jpg
View of Bath's Abby from the Baths
AvonRiver.jpg
Avon River
JaneAustin.jpg
Jane Austin
Click Internet Cafe.jpg
Click Internet Cafe


Stonehenge
  Maybe it helps being an engineer to appreciate Stonehenge, or it was the reversal of the low expectations I had for the site from the guidebooks and friends, but I was impressed during my visit to this 5000 year old site. My mind boggled at the transport of these huge stones, yet alone the manpower need to erect them.
  The word henge refers to the ditch and associated bank of soil that encircles the stones. Larger stones are from a quarry 30 km away from the site, and the smaller stones from Wales over 385 km away.
  It was a beautiful crisp (low 30's) and clear day for our visit. We used the services of Mad Max Tours (Maddy is the owner and Max is her dog who helps 'guide' the tours), they also took us to Avebury, Lacock & Castle Comb shown in the next section; I highly recommend Mad Max Tours!
StonehengeA.jpg
Stonehenge - Entrance view
StonehengeAugie.jpg
Stonehenge Augie
StonehengeLen.jpg
Stonehenge Len
StonehengeB.jpg
Stonehenge - View looking north
StonehengeC.jpg
Stonehenge - View looking east
StonehengeAugie2.jpg
Stonehenge Augie2
StonehengeD.jpg
Stonehenge- View looking east (zoomed)
StonehengeE.jpg
Stonehenge- View looking south
StonehengeAugie3.jpg
Stonehenge - Heel Stone
StonehengeAES.jpg
Telescopic Lens ( AES)
StonehengeLen2.jpg
Stonehenge Len2


Avebury, Lacock & Castle Comb
  Close to Stonehenge are the villages of Avebury, Lacock & Castle Comb. These provide an interesting mix of villages historic, past and present, respectively.
  Avebury is an ancient site (circa 2500 BC) with more of the monolithic stones and a deep (27 feet) trench circle surrounding the site. The village that is now inside the circle, is fairly recent and survives on the Avebury tourist trade.
  Lacock is more representative of villages of the past; the George Inn has been serving beer since 1361! All the residents of Lacock make their living in and around Lacock, i.e. there are no 'commuters' or 'weekenders' living in Lacock. The village is almost totally owned by the National Trust and thus maintains its character.
  Castle Comb represents the current trend of villages inhabited by people that work in nearby towns or cities and live in Castle Comb as 'commuters' or in some case just on weekends, i.e. gentrification. It is easy to understand the attraction of living in such quaint and beautiful surroundings; voted prettiest village in England (1962) and was the setting for the filming of Dr Dolittle (Rex Harrison original, not Eddy Murphy version).
AveburyAESC.jpg
Avebury - Church built from monolith stones ( AES)
AveburyAESB.jpg
Avebury - Some of the monoliths ( AES)
AveryC.jpg
Avebury - Surrounding Ditch
AveburyAESE.jpg
Avebury - Some of the monoliths ( AES)
Avebury Augie.jpg
Avebury - Shades of monolith in movie "2001"
AveryAugie2.jpg
Avebury - Devil's Seat Stone
AveburyLen.jpg
Avebury - Village view ( AES)
LacockHouse.jpg
Lacock House
LacockCountrySide.jpg
Lacock Country Side
CastleComb.jpg
Castle Comb
CastleCombAugie.jpg
Castle Comb Augie
CastleCombB.jpg
Castle Comb - Stream that powered the spinning mills
CastleCombChurch.jpg
Castle Comb Church

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Photos & Text 2001 by Len Schwer