A day in Bath, England. By Sarah Miller

by   |  07.05.11  |  Honors Student Achievements

Today after class, some of my peers and I went to Bath, England.  I have always been interested in Bath mainly because of Jane Austen.  I was raised watching Jane Austen adaptations and have always loved her work.  But recently I have become obsessed with Persuasion, and in Persuasion they take many trips to Bath.  Needless to say, I was very excited about the trip that was in front of me.  But, I had no idea just how amazing Bath was going to be.

After a few train rides, which were our first train rides ever, we arrived in Bath and stopped by the travel information center.  We had no idea what we were doing, or really what was in Bath.  We didn’t want to stay out too late because we had an hour and a half train ride back plus a thirty minute walk, so we decided we had time to see the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey and stop by the Jane Austen center of course.  Once again, I underestimated just how amazing each of these cites would be.

The Roman Baths museum was absolutely incredible.  It wasn’t like museums back home, where they recreate history and you learn.  No, we were walking on the actual Roman Baths from long over two thousand years ago.  I was amazed by the history.  Of course it was absolutely beautiful, but I also learned a lot (mostly because in our admission they included those voice recorder listening devises that guide you through the exhibit).  I had no idea that these baths were heated by a natural spring.  They were natural HOT springs that the Romans would come to hang out with their friends.  It was a lot like a country club we would have now, but cooler of course.  It was like a country club, because it wasn’t just a place to sit in the water, they also had a temple on the grounds and room to walk around.  During the tour they talked about some of the Romans sleeping in the temple over night because they believed that by doing that the gods would speak to them thought dreams.  They would spend the night then go and get their dreams interpreted.  Also they would write curses directed at other people to the gods for really dumb things, like taking their coat.  Finally, I was amazed again by the pluming system they had.  They would use gravity to circulate the water around to the different baths.  They were ingenious.  Anyway, I would love to go back and learn even more.

After the Roman Baths we went to Bath Abbey, which was right next door.  It was the most beautiful church, and it is still alive and active.   Yes it was one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen, but what really struck me is how it is still a church.  I guess it makes complete sense, but I was surprised when I saw the board with the new elders on it right next to the tombs of members of the church from hundreds of years ago.   It is hard to put this into words, other than absolutely beautiful.

After all this we stopped by the Jane Austin centre, but it was closing down so we didn’t get to go on a tour.  However, we did make friends with the greater outside, dressed like Mr. Darsey, and he was the most entertaining person I have ever met.  So, after dinner we got on the train and headed back to Oxford.  It was an incredible day in Bath, England and I hope I have time to go back to see the other three fourths I didn’t get to experience.  Bath is full of history and beauty that I never expected.  I could spend multiple days there and hope someday I can.