To the east and west of the centre of Bath are hills about 200m high. Both on the coach ridges there and back and while in the town itself, it was largely this topography that struck me. Oxford, you see, is a cracker. Only from south of the Magdalen Bridge can you find any kind of hill, and even those are laughable. Bath, by contrast, is almost perfectly composed to be looked over from above.
Upon arriving with the coach load of Sarah Lawrence students, the first place half of us went was the former Roman baths themselves. There, we atomized, and I didn’t see anyone again until we met for the coach ride home at five. Now built somewhat awkwardly into a museum – encased in black painted walls that look like the backstage area of a theatre – you can see the remains of former saunas and the realities of a collection of still-existent pools. The over-dramatic audio guide will tell you in almost comically reverent tones about the goddess to whom the former temple is dedicated.
The town of Bath reminds me a lot of Victoria, British Columbia. It has a similar pedestrian focus and the same sense of being designed for tourists. Even the residential areas that surround it, such as the one that runs to the top of the first hill I climbed, have a similar look. It’s a much larger place than Oxford and considerably more open. It may have been the brilliant weather, but people also seemed to smile more. The second hill I climbed – the westerly one – is capped by a fairly large park that, by walking around the circumference, offers views of all the surrounding hills and countryside.
Unsurprisingly, between ruins, town, and hills I took quite a number of photos. Rather than post them all at once – which would require editing the dust/mold specks out of the whole collection tonight – I think I will post them one by one until I run out of good ones. It may not represent the place where I am from day to day, but it should be more interesting than perpetuating the parade of Oxford shots.