Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our Tour of Bath

We wrapped up our first full working week in Bath with a tour of the city arranged by our tour consultant. This included a nice walkabout, followed by a self guided tour of the Roman Baths and then after lunch a reception with the mayor.
Terry was our tour guide and proudly informed us that he was Somerset born and bred. Since arriving here I had noted the lack of local dialect. Not here. As he noted Somerset folk speak with an "rrrr" because they love their ciderrrr. Terry was a superb guide and I'll offer here just a couple of the sites he led us to and explained to us.
A couple of attentive students. I must say that thus far our students have been superb.
Bath is famous, of course, for the Royal Crescent, built in Georgian times by John Wood
The Circus, also by Wood, presents a perfect round cityscape trisected by streets that give a perfect view of the block of houses. This photo does not do it justice.

We begin the self-guided audio tour, which offers a superb, multi-layered interpretation of this important site.
To the Romans the Baths were more than just a source of cleansing or healing, they were magical and so they built around them a complex center for worship, including a temple to Minerva

The Roman baths are an aspiring photographer's delight, here a few images:

The Roman Baths were not discovered until the late 19th Century, laving been buried under the strata of the modern city. Here at the source, you can see the layers, Roman at bottom, Georgian above.
In this view you can see the bubbles indicating the source:
One of the many aqueducts and the complex water system

This, the main Roman Bath with the modern city above :

After lunch it was off to the Guildhall to meet with the may or Bath:
The mayor with his ceremonial chain of office and our city guide
His job is more than ceremonial, but here the mayor poses with two visiting faculty members, Andy Fleck, my partner, and myself.
We were also urged to sign into the official visitor book, thus becoming a part of the city's history
I declined the city's ballpen (a stainless Parker international) to sign with my Conway Steward 100, brought for the purpose. Students crowd around, of course, to observe my signing
I managed to pull off a cheap hat trick, identifying the Parker 45 flighter before uncapping it.


chan wei shan said...

nice pics u got there- add me on msn

rka said...

Oh yes, I do agree with my forerunner - great pics and I feel like to be a part of this "trip". Many to learn... though identifying a Parker 45 without previous touching him wouldn't be a trick in front of me ;-)