Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Bath & Stonehenge

             I spent this past weekend looking at bathtubs and rocks. Granted, these baths were over 2000 years old and the rocks were built somewhere between 3000 BC and 2000 BC.

The Roman baths in Bath were the first stop we made on our trip. This was probably my favorite part of the entire weekend. It is absolutely mind-boggling to think that these beautiful, 2000 year-old baths still hold water. They’re a must see for anyone who enjoys architecture, history, or looking at pretty things.
Almost as impressive as the baths were the streets of Bath. On nearly every street in the city center, one can hear the sweet melodies of buskers playing guitar, singing, or even playing the piano.

As a shopping fanatic, I obviously had to check it out in this city that has been praised for its shops! The first day, I only spent about £10 (the second day is a completely different story)! After shopping and exploring the city, we ventured back to our hostel, the YHA Bath Hostel. My friend and I reunited with the other half of our group and made tacos in the hostel’s kitchen for supper. Being one of the first times I’d eaten Mexican food while being here, the food tasted especially amazing.

We started Saturday bright and early (thank goodness the hostel had a nice – and free – breakfast). The school had planned a half-day trip to Wells Cathedral and Glastonbury Abbey. Wells Cathedral was absolutely gorgeous; I can’t get enough of visiting gorgeous cathedrals while I’m over here. The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey were especially exciting for me. For those that enjoy a bit of Arthurian legend (*cough* me), Glastonbury Abbey is one of the many places that claim to have had the remains of King Arthur. As the sign on the ground states, “In the year 1191 the bodies of King Arthur and his queen were said to have been found on the south side of the Lady Chapel. On 19th April 1278 their remains were removed in the presence of King Edward I and Queen Eleanor to a black marble tomb on this site. This tomb survived until the dissolution of the abbey in 1539.” So for all of you Merlin, Sword in the Stone, or King Arthur fans, these would be an exciting stop for you! Our tour guide was also decked out in a costume. So there’s another plus. We stopped for lunch in the town of Glastonbury, which is an interesting city to say the least. While looking for lunch, we passed no less than five magic shops. And I’m not talking about magic wands, decks of playing cards, and those stupid interlocking rings. There was a magic crystals shop, a shop called Cat & Cauldron that smelled terribly of decomposing animal, and Man, Myth & Magik which was sadly closed – it looked the most interesting. We popped into Cat & Cauldron and quickly retreated. If you enjoy all things Wiccan (oh dear I hope that’s the right term), you would definitely enjoy poking around in these shops! If you’re like me…well… there are some wonderful cafes that didn’t smell like decomposing animal!

Upon returning to Bath, we realized we were in desperate need of something sweet. While walking back into the city center from where the coach dropped us off, we saw a tearoom advertising what looked like the most delicious cupcakes we had ever seen. For about the past three weeks now, my friend and I had been craving cupcakes. The Hands Georgian Tearoom was an elegant tearoom where a pianist serenaded us while we savored our cupcakes and cake. The rest of the day was spent continuing to explore the city center….and shopping. I spent nearly £100 in just this one day!

On our way back to the manor, we made our final stop at Stonehenge. As impressive as it is, I’ll admit, it can get a little old after looking at it for 20 minutes. Learning about the people who built it is interesting, however they are still unsure of its purpose. Popular theory is that the stones involve some type of ritual. Stonehenge is a great stop to make, but not really something that you spend more than an hour at. That’s why the school trip was so great! I never would have gone to Bath if it hadn’t been for this school trip and it is now one of my favorite cities and a must see for those studying in the UK.

Happy travels,

Kristen Buhrmann

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