09.04.2015 - 11.04.2015 55 °F
We get up the next morning to take the Underground subway to Paddington then train it on over to Bath, England. Once a Roman outpost
over a thousand years ago, Bath is scenic with an aura of fashion and upper middle class living. It's a little bit cheaper than London and much smaller and very quaint. The center piece in Bath is the famous Roman Bath House, a Romanesque style building with a large thermal heated pool in the center. However, you can only see the pool, you can't actually go inside and swim around. I find this to be nothing short of a major tease so we opted to find some bath salts and take hot baths back at our lovely Victorian hotel up in the hill. Our room was one of the nicest ones we've stayed at and the price wasn't nosebleed worthy. The fun thing about Bath (and London as well) was finding the small alley walk-throughs where no cars are allowed and only the occasional local passes.
So Bath is a good launching spot to take a nice inexpensive tour bus to see the stone monoliths of Stonehenge. Stonehenge was never a 'bucket-list' sort of thing but, like Chichen-Itza, it demands to be visited if you are passing by. I suppose a person could look at Stonehenge and
see a series of stones stacked on each other. What's the big deal you might ask? There are still many things not known about this place and then there is the mystery of the 'crop circles' which appear near here. It's interesting that Stonehenge, Chichen-Itza and other ancient locals have
some kind of connection to UFOS and extraterrestrials. Stonehenge, from the looks of it, looks like the work of humans of about 5000 years ago.
Humans, I think, were just beginning to realize that organizing and working towards a massive project could be done collectively. Imagine corralling
a bunch of hunter/gatherers together and convincing them that it would be possible to hoist tons-heavy stones on top of each other would be
possible if we just work together. I could also see evidence of early art-making as well as ritual creation. The best way for me to look at Stonehenge
is to think of early modern humans playing with rocks like a Lego set and somehow finding it inspiring and exhilarating to create something that
would astonish others.
Back in Bath, we find some time to read a newspaper. It's an election year here and the paper is chock full of naughty tidbits about this person or that person. Yes, your dog can get attacked by a wild boar and yes, jewelry heists happen in the middle of London. More disconcertingly is to read about the wide-ranging pollution that is currently hitting much of England and Europe. Mass pollution mixed with sands blown from the Sahara and mixed with rain creates a toxic mixture called 'Blood Rain'. Well, we are heading north now in the hopes we don't get blood-rained on. But pollution can get very bad here and people are warned to stay indoors. Another growing problem is obesity which sounds like another American export which it certainly is in my opinion. To see another KFC or McDonald's in the U.K. is just a reminder of the reach of crap-food capitalism. On the bright side, Andrea and I were able to find many healthy food options available in Bath including an all-organic deli.
Bath, England is worth your time. The small city center is very walkable and the parks are lovely. Be sure to stroll through the Botanical Gardens as well as the Palace Gardens.