Yesterday we drove to Bath and today we walked around the town. Our hotel here is a joy — nice big room, recently redecorated complete with chandelier, three big windows looking out onto the street, and a ceiling plastered with decoration. Getting here was a little bit frustrating as we arrived at one garden before it opened (we were able to let ourselves in but felt a little guilty doing so though the staff were good natured about it). The garden itself (Tintinhull) was smallish but nicely kept and decently designed. The second garden that we stopped at before arriving in Bath was called Ilford Manor and turned out to be closed on Tuesdays (this I think was a recent change in their schedule because I did check every garden before we left to make sure that they would be open on the day that we were due to visit though it’s possible that I missed this one). Thankfully we had not gone too far out of our way to visit it but it was a little disappointing (especially since there was in fact people there to tell us that the garden was closed and there was a group of people who were obviously getting a special tour that we were decidedly not invited to join, but I digress)
Coming into Bath was a bit of a shock too as there was a lot of traffic and we (perhaps I should say I) was not used to crowds after our delightful country idyll. At any rate, the hotel, as I said, did not disappoint. Indeed, they were able to show us to our room despite our early arrival. So, we rested for a bit before heading out to grab a bite to eat. I then made my way to an interesting (though small and HOT) bookstore while Russell went back to the hotel to cool off. It was certainly a hot day but nothing unbearable even if the country set a new all-time record high temperature. Dinner was at the hotel’s restaurant and proved to be an unexpected culinary experience. Quite interesting food with complex flavors even if it was a bit fancy for my taste.
Sleeping last night proved a bit of a challenge for both of us as the room was quite warm and stuffy even though we had the windows open. We had our morning coffee in the hotel’s delightful back garden before heading out to explore the city of Bath. It is quite a lovely city with lots of interesting architecture and busy shopping streets. The weather is quite a good deal cooler today which is a relief. The Botanical Garden was small and somewhat neglected though it contained many specimen trees that were interesting. The town was full of graduating students both yesterday and today so that made for a festive atmosphere. We bought a take-away lunch and ate it in the hotel’s garden where we proceeded to spend a good portion of the afternoon reading and enjoying the relaxed ambiance. Tonight we will be eating in town and tomorrow we shove off for the Cotswolds. Not much more of our trip left with only two more stops before we return the car and wait for our flight to leave at an airport hotel. How time flies! Seems like just yesterday we were waiting at the airport in Philadelphia for our flight to Heathrow.