Bob Brown#8217;s Adventure in Bath

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 16, 2006

England, April 4, 1985 n After we left Coventry and Stow-on-the-Wold, our coach rolled on toward Bath. I am really looking forward to visiting Bath today because Jane Austen prepared me for that city. Later …

Bob Brown said that our guide Nicko had spent so long talking about the time that the Romans occupied England that he felt as if he were in Italy! Now that I’ve toured Bath, I can understand why. Here, there are two periods perfectly displayed. The first Bath which we saw was Jane Austen’s eighteenth century city.

The second Bath was underground, the Roman Bath where the hot springs have attracted visitors for hundreds of years. When I saw the warm mineral springs flowing into the stone pool built by the Romans, I thought of the crippled man who tried to be first in the pool so that he could be healed. When he told his story to Jesus, Jesus healed him.

I really don’t know which period fascinated me more. During our free time we walked up and down the city street, loving the famous Georgian Crescent. At lunch we ate a rare bit (cheese toast) and a salad, both of which were good. We were lucky shopping and found the Innes ties (for the Mitchell clan), and I bought a little wooly lamb which I’ll probably give away to my favorite girl.

At 3:45 we met Nicko in front of Jane Austen’s famous pump room. As we walked through the large ball room with lovely chandeliers, we saw people having tea and listening to eighteenth century piano music. Bob loved the atmosphere, and when I reminded him that this is the room Jane Austen danced in, he grabbed my hand and we danced gracefully through the pump room.

From there we descended into the Roman ruins where we saw all that is left of roads, columns, buildings, statutes of gods, and the King’s bath. The history of it all overwhelmed me. The pages of the Bible came alive. Steam is still rising from the hot springs. How amazing! We took turns taking pictures and trying not to fall into the bath.

Bob Brown had washed his feet in the water and urged me to do the same, but since I was wearing slacks and hose, that request was impossible. We stayed around the open Bath as long as we could. Then Mr. Brown said that he would lead the way back up to the eighteenth century street. All of us followed him, three women and six men.

We went by all the Roman ruins after leaving the pool, working our way up toward the street. Then Mr. Brown opened a door where there were mirrors, curtains, and beautiful lights on dressers. Suddenly an English lady screamed out, “On no! You can’t come in here! This is not a part of the tour! This is the LADIES!” We turned around and laughed so hard we could hardly find our way to the street.

From Bath we headed to Bristol to spend the night. Bristol, a seaport town, is the setting of TREASURE ISLAND. After a delicious supper of sole, we walked to Ye Llandogger Trow, a pub used by Long John Silver in TREASURE ISLAND. Also, Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard, frequented the place. What history I’ve seen today. How great it is! We walked all through the smoky room as if we were looking for someone. Actually, we just wanted to take in the atmosphere.

Now that I’m back in the hotel, I realize that I don’t have a book about Bristol. (I try to buy a small book describing each town/city we see.) But no stores were open when we arrived in Bristol.

We’ve packed for our trip home since it will come all to soon. Good night! I’ll close my eyes and see people dressed like George and Martha Washington dancing through the pump room and Roman soldiers marching down to the King’s bath. Sweet Dreams!