Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Bath Roman Baths

This statue man was a premonition of what was to come. I don't know if he wanted to be covered in pigeons, but that was what made him beautiful. I once had a pigeon land on my chest on a station. I was wearing grey. They must recognise their own basic colour.
 Lots of statues guard over the green water of the baths. The green is exactly like that of our kitchen table. I felt quite at home there. It is caused by algae-not by iron as I heard one know it all man informing some guests as I walked around.
 The statues were my favourite people on the top floor, where you first go in. They had a certain dignity and gravitas that the zombies with the audio guides did not. I am not in favour of audio guides personally. I find they interfere with my ability to take in the atmosphere of a place. I like to find some information out of course, but I am happy to do so after my visit, and just enjoy being in the place when I am in it. I have never been somewhere so crowded with audio guide users. A faraway look comes into their eyes, and off they go, regardless of anyone or anything else.
 Anyway, enough of the ranting. Here is a man trying his best to declaim without a face. Tricky.

 The original Roman drain where the hot water enters this bath. It is a very big place, with a series of baths, a cold pool and other places that Romans liked to do their ablutions. Quite incredible really.

 The other obvious hazard for the modern tourist-trying to get your shot around the other people trying to get theirs.
The water was pleasantly warm. It must have been amazing to use this place in its heyday. Please see the end of this post for the health and safety warning!
 All I really wanted to do was get down to the water we could see when we came in. It takes ages to get here! There is a lot going on underground and on the way down. I was so tired though, so very happy to sit here for a while waiting for Andy, and people watching. Next to me was the photo stone. Lots of people sat on it to have their picture taken. Some American ladies were taking turns. ''You know what to say'' said one, ''sex'' said the poser, then, quietly, under her breath, ''not for years''. I smiled, and she said ''You heard that didn't you?'' I nodded and she said ''I'm seventy next week, you know, after a while...'' It made us laugh.
 I liked the reflections.
 On the photo stone.
 Roman lead piping! Still perfect. I wish modern plumbers were this good.
The cold pool has become a place to make your offering to the Gods and Goddesses of the baths. The coins glint prettily in the gloom.
Just a note-I don't think you are meant to touch the water. I saw one sign saying this. I was wondering if anyone ever fell in, as the stone paving is very uneven and I saw quite a few people having little trips. Then I found some videos of people jumping in-and being told off and warned about the water.


Linda Sue said...

The minerals flowing over rock are such a gorgeous colour- especially with stone and the soft green of the pools- It looks so inviting! I might risk get told off...I would think that winter might be a good time to visit such a site- fewer people maybe. Wouldn't it be grand to be alone there and just wander...a 2000 year old site has got to have some stories! I do love the statues and I especially love your header!
And I especially especially love the photo of you on the photo stone.

Sarah said...

Yes to all that! I thought about going in the winter as it must steam-great photo opportunities!

Queenie Believe said...

Awesome photos of your trip!
Indeed disclaiming without a face is truly a tricky feat! Poor statue.
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie

Anonymous said...

I love the photo of the tiny plant growing on the roof tiles ..... and of course the one of you on the stone!

Rachel said...

I love that photo of the coins glittering in the pool, oh and the statue man, he's brilliant! :-)

Janine said...

Wow, how exciting to see this! Love your photos and thanks for sharing this trip!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing place! I have to agree about audio tours. I don't like them either! I'd much rather read about it then look around.

Tracy said...

Wow... it is such a place! And so happy to see you there, Sarah! :o) Very funny about the water... ((HUGS))

Shell said...

Bath has always been on my list of places to visit. Been inspired by Jane Austen and regency novels who always have their heroines go there.