9/27/14

Bath: Earl Grey Tea and Almond Croissants

The Royal Crescent
Continuing my belated storytelling of England this summer.

It's amazing how food can affect the way you view a place. It can change the entire experience, either for better or worse. I think that happened with me and Bath.

Our third trip took us on a three part, over-night journey. We were taking a bus to Stonehenge, then to Bath, Somerset, where we would spend the night in a hostel. The next morning we would drive to Stourhead House to explore the famous grounds before making it home for supper.

The trip started off on a bad foot, because the bus ride was a pretty miserable experience. This goes back to the position the UK holds on air conditioning (it's unnecessary). The bus was a double decker, carpet-upholstered thing, and did not have AC. Not only did it not have AC, but the heater automatically ran while the bus was on. That, coupled with warm weather and an extra hour of slow traffic made for a suffocating long ride. By the time we got to Stonehenge four hours later, everyone was feeling sick and overheated.
There are very few things that are worth driving in such terrible conditions for, and Stonehenge is one of them.
This was one place in the world I'd never imagined I would see. I still can't believe I was there, standing so close to that famous silhouette.

After taking many selfies, we all piled back into the bus-from-hell and drove another hour to Bath. By this time, my impression of Bath was not the greatest. The city was nestled amongst beautiful green hills, but as the bus navigated around the winding, tight roads toward the Royal Crescent, it was hard not to focus on anything but my desire to get. off. the. bus.
Which is a shame, because the Royal Crescent was pretty cool,  and after we stopped at the hostel, we walked to the baths. I was still feeling crummy, but the Roman baths were absolutely amazing. I studied Latin all four years of high school, and these ruins brought back all kinds of fond memories.  Ecce Romani!



The Bath Cathedral
The next morning dawned rainy and cool- a wonderful break from the heat! After a night of checking out Bath's night life, we all were pretty groggy and not ready to get back on the bus.
But that was when our luck began to turn. After waiting an hour, we discovered that the bus had broken down and a new one would be picking us up in an couple hours. Hallelujah!
We took the extra time to explore the unique book shops, consignment stores, and very damp parks.

When it started pouring, we ducked into a little cafe to escape the heaviest rainfall. 
After feeling particularly ill the entire trip, this was revival in and of itself. The Earl Grey tea warmed up the rainy day, and I'd never had such a delicious crunchy, delicate almond croissant. All in all, Bath was pretty rough, but in that moment none of it seemed to matter. Sounds stupid yeah, but just sitting there, thousands of miles from home, I realized that buses and bad weather really didn't matter. Not for opportunities like this; to just sit, sipping tea, watching the rain fall in Bath. 



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