Today we drove to the Odd Down Park and Ride and hopped onto the double decker bus into Bath. I didn’t know Bath would be such a large city,- not sure what I expected. But I was in awe with the melding of the very old with the very new! This is my first time to Europe and seeing such antiquities, like the Roman baths alongside a McDonald’s for instance, is very interesting! Almost as soon as we were off the bus, we stumbled upon a free walking tour of the city. We joined in and I’m glad I did. I learned a lot about the Roman baths, the history of the Abbey and life in general over the years. Bath was a mecca for high society and the stories the tour guide told, made me wonder if the life of my relatives back in the valleys of Somerset were a freer way of living. High society isn’t my scene.
The tour ended up being a little long-winded so we secretly ducked out of our tour group and began our own walk. The walking guide calls it the Bath Skyline Walk and I understand why. It was a long walk from the city centre, and across the River Avon and up the Bath Valley. We traversed some steep uphill roads lined with very fine homes then the trail began at the beautiful and lush deciduous tree line and continued up a dirt path. The Hawthornes are in full bloom.
Through a series of ‘kissing gates’ we then walked through forests of beech, and silver birch. The sun shining down on the nettle and ferns, and various bright green vegetation was so lovely as were the song of the birds. When we got to the top, our view of Bath and the valley below was breathtaking!
My dad and I struggled a bit with navigation of the trail, reconciling the info on the detailed map, with the simplified guide book’s map. We brought out the compasses and found each section of the trail as we went along. It’s a matter of waking up our orienteering muscles again! Mine are admittedly very rusty! Once at the top of the valley the walk was relatively flat. It was warm and sunny with a brisk wind to keep us cool enough.
After three hours or so of walking the loop I decided we should hop on the University Bus and head back into town to catch our Park and Ride bus. My dad said he could have completed the loop but I was feeling done. The tour ate up a good portion of our walking time. And so we asked some passerbys on how to use the bus and we hopped on.
We drove home and once again had a lovely dinner at the Old Malt House and we tried to update our journals. The last few nights I have been struggling to stay awake. Jet lag is a drag.