Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Roman Baths & Pulteney Bridge

When you are in Bath, the natural thing to do is to visit its namesake - the Roman Baths. 

Situated in the city centre of Bath, it is "one of the finest thermal spas of the ancient world". Seperti biasa, you have to pay to enter the world heritage tourist site.  Equiped with our audioguides, we started our tour around the place. 

 View from the terrace with Bath Abbey in the background (right)

View of the great bath from the terrace

The Roman Baths is actually a sprawling site but from outside one would never have thought so.  Its underground complex houses the sacred spring, the Roman temple,the Roman bath house and other artefacts. 


The Gorgon's head excavated from the ruins of the Roman temple ... 

... the sacred spring where worshippers threw in their scrolled wishes or curses inscribed on sheets of lead and pewter, in the hope that its  dwelling spirit, the goddess Sulis Minerva would grant them.  

After all these centuries, the sacred spring still yield mineral-rich spa water which visitors got to drink for free (just show your entrance tickets). The taste?  I thought it would be heavenly macam air zamzam, but who was I kidding?  Rasanya payau tapi baunya ... Puh!  Macam air longkang je... Kui!Kui!Kui!Sungguh mengembangkan tekak! :P.  

(pix by Stan Zurek)

Talk about longkang, here's an underground longkang (drain)that has lasted the test of time and is still functioning! 

Besides these, there were the changing rooms, saunas, heated rooms and plunging pool which I didn't care to photograph as I was too engrossed with my audioguide :).

The great bath was the most interesting place of the tour because you'd see actors (supposedly portraying people from the township of Aquae Sulis) getting into their character, thrilling the crowd. 

Amani sitting beside a Roman Marge Simpson :P. This hairstyle was supposed to be in vogue those days.  Now we know where Matt Groening got his inspiration from! :) 

 After buying souvenirs, we moved on to other parts of Bath.  We went to Royal Victoria Park for lunch, took pictures (my dad lah) at the Royal Crescent, before stopping at our final destination: a park near Pulteney Bridge.

My most unforgetable memory of Bath, however, came a few weeks later in the form of a traffic offense notice.  Caught in (foul) action by traffic camera! Huhuhu...

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