Thursday, October 15, 2009

London Calling: Day Four

On Thursday we headed to Salisbury to see the one thing I said I HAD to see while I was there. When we neared the site this was the scene:

We rounded a curve in the road and there it was, sitting in the middle of the road. The main two lane road curved to the left and we took the smaller road that turned to the right, where we parked in the parking lot and bought our tickets. There was a tunnel under the road that led to the path around Stonehenge.

If I look like I'm in pain here, I am. The sun was in my eyes and a cold sharp wind was blowing through my ears. Yes through them. Ouch. The area around the rocks is off limits. A path circles around the site about 100 feet from the stones. It was really hard to get any picture without other people milling about in the back ground and the birds completely ignored the path and flew into the pictures as well. The Stone site was so strange standing there all alone with nothing around it. There was no visible reason for it to be there at all. It had a haunting loneliness to it.

These were for sale at the concessions. I got a good laugh out of them anyway. Heehee.

Our next stop of the day was in Bath. Bath is one of those places that might not mean much to some people, but to the right people it is better than Disney World. Having loved Jane Austen since the first time I read her 24 years ago, Bath was a magical place to visit. So many scenes from her books take place in the Pump rooms and streets of the city that I could almost see the chapters reform in my head.

This building struck me as interesting. There was a building built RIGHT in front of it, just past where I was taking the shot. It seemed so wrong for such an incredible piece of history and architecture to be sandwiched into a tiny ally-way.

This sign basically says that the home belonged to Beau Nash and his mistress Juliana Popjoy and is being preserved in the fashion they entertained in in the 18th century as a hotel.

Gay Street! We are getting closer to Jane's house!

This is the courtyard in front of the Abbey and Roman Baths.

The Abbey was breathtaking.

Can you read the signs? Pump Room and Roman Baths.

Entrance to the Roman Baths.

Me in front of the Abbey from inside the baths.

The original frontage of the building.

This is a collection of signet rings from inside the drains. At the time loosing one would have been terrible since it was used as your signature.

See the tiny pictures? It is amazing how intricate each one was. Keep in mind the largest on is about 3/4 of an inch across.

Tombstone of a cavalry officer from Italy. I was trying to figure out if the picture was depicting him as the rider in life or the guy getting trampled at his death... Hmmm.

The original mosaic tile floors:

This is the hot spring. It is the only one in the UK. The water was still bubbling at one end of this bath.

The overflow drain had centuries of sulfur build up from the hot springs the baths were built over. The entire building was designed so well that after almost 2,000 years they are still functioning.

The room for the cold water bath had "ghosts" on the walls thanks to video projection, that showed what typical bathers would have been like.

We spotted this graveyard on the way out of town; St James. There was just SO much to see and so little time that this is the closest I made it to a cemetary the entire trip.

Doesn't it look interesting?

We drove on to Bristol that evening and crashed at our hotel for take out supper and an early night. We had a long drive the next day touring Wales...

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