But before I get to Bath, I have to wrap up one last loose end from the previous Passport Disaster entries: What happened to the purse?? I was oddly certain that it would reappear, since the cards had not been used. Our landlord told us to keep checking with the police department, in case it got turned in later and they overlooked the lost purse notice. He said people were always turning lost property in, as Marlborough is a really safe, low-crime little town. (He also let us watch his security video to make sure Kim didn’t drop it while opening the big heavy gate into the farmyard and parking area- I’d been driving so she’d gotten out to open and shut the gate.)
Anyhow, it did not reappear before we left. However, two weeks after we got back home, I got an email from the Wiltshire policewoman who took the report. The purse had been turned in, contents intact! She’d gotten my email address from our landlord after leaving messages on both our phones, which of course we didn’t get because the two UK phones don’t work in the US and had been turned off since we got to the airport. Someone who worked at the Castle and Ball hotel, on the opposite side of the street from where we’d been, found it. We didn’t even think to check there. And we had our last pints in Marlborough there the night before we left! Apparently they kept it for a couple of weeks thinking someone would come and claim it.
SO, yay!!! It did not get stolen, and it was turned in and the police even mailed it back to Kim and didn’t use any of the cash that was in it to pay the postage. I was VERY impressed. It was too late to do her much good, but still. It made me even more impressed with cute little Marlborough.
Now. On to Thursday, June 27, and our trip to – Bath. We’d planned several visits to Bath, but only went once due running out of time. Bath is gorgeous, and would warrant many trips. Kim and I went on our last visit, and despite being there for hours, still didn’t see a lot of the sights. We totally missed The Royal Crescent and the Circus last time, believe it or not. This time we were there something like five hours- and STILL didn’t see everything! Which just means more trips down the road.
It took us a lot longer than we thought it would to get there, for one thing. It was about an hour’s drive. We took the M4, although we were staying right on the Bath Road which looks like it would be a lot more direct route. But it’s also a little teeny road that goes through teeny little towns, and Baker B was paranoid due to the hated Too Wide Focus. He was especially afraid of Caine, which he’d driven through before we arrived and found very difficult. Next time we are SO getting a Mini.
When Kim and I went on our first trip, we drove right to a Park and Ride lot, where we were able to just leave the car and catch a bus into Bath. Unfortunately we couldn’t quite remember how we’d come in to town that time, and there were several options. But hey! There will be Park and Rides on all the main ways in, we said! Bath is a big town, and an enormous tourist destination – we won’t have to drive all the way in and get stuck trying to navigate the city!! No, that would NEVER happen!
Hahahahaha. We kept driving closer and closer in, no Park and Ride, no Park and Ride, no Park and Ride…. and suddenly we were in the city with no idea where to park!! Baker B was driving, and gets a gazillion gold stars for being quite calm about suddenly being in City Traffic and not knowing where we were going. (For the millionth time, I do not know WHAT happened to the Usual Neurotic Nervous Baker B on this trip.) It was quite busy and trafficy and Kim and I did our best to watch the road signs and roundabouts for him, and happily there WERE parking signs and we found a lot without any problem. And it was quite close in to the attractions.
And we mostly just spent the rest of the day wandering about.
Bath is so pretty. This is the way we walked in from the parking area. Over a bridge crossing the canal. The other bridge you can see from here is the famous Pulteney Bridge. Weirdly I got no pictures this time of the Pulteney Bridge other than this. It’s really cool, and the road across it is lined with shops. We walked over it and down steps to the water. That was late in the day, though, and despite the gorgeous blue skies here, by then it was raining. And I’d let Kim borrow my Powershot because her battery died and I didn’t want to get my SLR wet. But we had plenty of other Bath Photo Opps.
The old Roman baths are in this area — you can go in and tour them, and even visit the very fancy spas, but that’s pricey so we did not.
Oh look! It’s me and Kim! Kim also had about ten gazillion pictures of me and Baker B from the back. And I got this one with Baker B from the back, totally accidentally as I was taking a picture of the sign and didn’t even realize he was right under it. Very appropriately!
The canal is very pretty. And full of canal boats. Many with stuff on the tops.
The Circus. It’s a really cool ring of townhouses in a circle, with elaborate carvings on the facades.
The Royal Crescent is near the Circus. I still don’t know how Kim and I missed it last time.
The Royal Crescent is hard to get a good picture of, especially with the huge tent out front. I should have walked down into the park. Oh, well!
We just walked around and gazed at things.
That cap Baker B has on there in the bottom left of the picture is important, as it was the only thing he lost. It’s a Blue Ridge Parkway cap and he was quite fond of it, but for Mr. Lose-Everything-He-Touches to travel around England and lose nothing but a cap was amazing. He can’t make it to work and back without losing half his possessions. I would have totally expected HIM to lose his passport, but he did not. He carried around a small daypack and he kept everything in a particular pocket, and he did not lose a thing. Except this cap, which he apparently left in a pub when we were trying to figure out if he could manage to stay put in the pub while Kim and I went to the Jane Austin museum. As it turned out, he could not, and it was too rainy (and he was too tired- he’d gotten up really early and gone walking before we even went to Bath that morning) to keep walking around and we didn’t know how long the Jane Austin tour would take so we ended up not doing it. SIGH. Next time we will plan it out better. I spent my tour money on a gorgeous pair of earrings from The Bath Aqua Glass Shop as consolation. I got a pair there last trip too and looooove them, so had to go back. We were momentarily horrified because it wasn’t where we’d left it last trip… but they’d moved into an even better location, so that was a relief.
Oh, and I bought a replacement hat for him when we got back, and it was on sale. And now someone in the UK has a cool Blue Ridge Parkway cap.
The Saracen’s Head is the oldest pub in Bath, dating from 1713. We had pints and also ate lunch… and I have no idea now what we ate. But it was good.
Then we headed back to Marlborough. We got in a big traffic jam leaving Bath because it was about 5:00 when we departed, but Baker B was calm and patient and just sat quietly in the traffic and rested until it cleared up and we got back on the road. I am thinking I’m missing some pictures- I’m definitely missing a bunch of Kim’s so I may post a few more later when I figure out why they aren’t on Flickr.