Three nights: Wednesday, July 4 to Saturday, July 7
Time to leave continental Europe and hit the UK! Originally, we were planning on taking the Eurostar train trough the Chunnel from Paris to London and then purchasing additional train tickets as needed to travel around (our Eurail pass does not work in the UK). However, after comparing the cost of the Eurostar reservation as well as the cost of train tickets vs. weekly car rental rates, we decided to instead rent a car and book an EasyJet flight directly to Bristol (near where we’ll be visiting Donna’s friend Suzanne at the end of our time in the UK). With an evening flight into Bristol, Bath was a natural choice for our first stop since it’s about 1/2 hour drive from Bristol’s airport.
Speaking of driving, it’s a bit freaky here due to the cognitive dissonance of driving on the left side of the road and having the driver’s seat on the right side of the car. I prepared a little in advance by reading up on UK driving regulations as well as how to navigate roundabouts. So far, having driven from the airport to Bath and from Bath to York (four hours), it’s not that bad. Unless you consider that one thing I did, which we will not discuss here.
Anyway – Bath! Bath is a scenic and historic little English town. Everything is very Georgian and neoclassical. Due to its compactness, it was pretty easy to cover it all on foot, which we did as part of a walking tour as well as independently a few times. One of the highlights, of course, is the eponymous Roman bath complex. The museum built around it was much more extensive and impressive than I expected. The bath complex was very interesting to see and reminded me a lot of what we saw in Pompeii.
One a different note, at the suggestion of our apartment hosts, we took a scenic walk along a nearby canal. Despite the occasional drizzle, the weather largely cooperated and we really enjoyed the canal views and the surrounding scenic countryside. Conveniently, we even passed by a pub that made for a great lunch stop!
Speaking of pubs and food, they abound! We’re already enjoying “tucking in” to some traditional English fare and I have some odd notion of visiting an obscene number of pubs on this leg of the trip. Donna may have to steer me back from the brink. At a minimum though, I will be documenting my “extended pub crawl” on the new UK Pubs & Ales page on the blog. Stay tuned!