Today was magical. Why, you ask? Because we left our confines in Oxford and headed to… Bath!
Bath is SUCH a lovely city,surrounded by dense green, and many magnificent views off into the distance. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I planned the trip, by the beautiful atmosphere of the town surpassed everything in my mind from the moment we rolled into the train station early that morning.
Coffee in hand, we began our first adventure of the day: exploring the Roman Baths! The baths have been there for centuries, and it’s a very surreal experience to be walking exactly where Roman soldiers had set foot over a millennia ago. Having been to Greece, this feeling was not entirely new to my senses, but there is something about it, a kind of air that makes you realize just how new our North American society is.
Once that adventure had been fulfilled, we set off in search of our second adventure: locating the Fashion Museum. We bought a joint ticket with that and the Baths, so it was a very cheap price… but only if we could find it. We got lost multiple times along the way, so naturally we had to go shopping for a bit instead. Bath has some of the best shops around, everything from H&M to cute little charity shops and boutiques that have a distinctly quaint feel to them. Most everything I saw was just a bit out of my price range, but to pass by the shops without even poking my head in would almost have felt like a sin!
When we finally arrived at the fashion museum, HannaKate and I strolled through all of the period costumes, enjoying the views, until we hit the part where… wait for it… you get to dress up! Dress from the 1800’s are VERY heavy, which you know in your mind, but somehow can’t fully comprehend until you’re pulling the thing over your head! Still though, it was an exciting moment to be able to stop and twirl around in a dress like Elizabeth Bennett’s.
Once that excitement was over, and, after getting lost for a second time (during which we got to see the Circus, a large roundabout which is an important scene of Bath- no clowns, don’t worry), we finally stumbled into my favorite part of the day: The Jane Austen Museum! There wasn’t a whole lot to it, but we learned a lot about Jane Austen’s life, things I had previously known nothing about, and I even got to write with a calligraphy feather pen! As if that wasn’t cool enough, after the tour HannaKate and I walked up the street to see Jane Austen’s former house!
Feet aching, faces agrin, we set off in search of some ice cream and coffee, as well as a break. We rested a good 45 minutes (which I’m not entirely sure the shop keepers approved of) before setting off on our final adventure of the day: Art. We strolled through the permanent exhibits of Bath’s art museum, as well as the temporary Modern Collections, looking at Black and White Picasso’s, and prints from Andy Warhol.
Satisfied that we had been tourists long enough, we found a park to settle into and rested. We had a wonderful view of green grass, a rushing river, and distant villages; the perfect place to lie back and reflect on a long day. It was my first time to successfully navigate a foreign city with out an adult (okay, people who have been adults longer than me), and I felt a huge sense of accomplishment settle onto me as I lie on the side of that hill.
Overall, it was a grand day, full of glorious memories from a wonderful city; it was fun to break out of being a student for a day, and be a tourist. To experience the pleasures of England and all it has to offer it’s visitors. Heart full of love for this country, I closed my eyes, lay back, and took it all in.