Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday's Memories: Welcome to Bath!

Our first adventure in Bath was finding a place to park.  We started on the side of a road behind this fun sign.  No "Baby on Board" signs in the UK.  They just have cheeky monkeys.

I don't remember why we decided this spot was unsuitable, but we drove on and found a car park.  We walked a lot in Bath, KJ studying the map the whole way until we found our bearings.  I liked this modern take on the whole phone booth thing.

 Texting from a phone booth?  Happy thought indeed.

Our first stop was the Jane Austen Centre.  After her father "retired" she and her sister, Cassandra, moved to Bath with their parents.  There was a lot of society to be enjoyed in Bath; I don't think Jane was very happy about the move, though.  Jane wrote in one of her letters to Cassandra, "We are to have a tiny party here tonight; I hate tiny parties---they force one into constant exertion."  My husband will laugh, because sometimes I feel that way about interacting with people.  Only, I prefer tiny parties to large groups of people.

Since we arrived late in the afternoon, we made the decision not to do the entire tour.  I think they show a short film about Austen's life, have an exhibit of wax figures wearing the fashions of the day, and things of that nature.  We just didn't have enough daylight left to see all we wanted to see and spend an hour and a half there, too.  I enjoyed looking through the shop and loved their restroom signs.

Looking through pictures I think that I took the most street shots in Bath over any other city we visited.  I guess that was because we spent most of our time walking the up-and-down streets.  I loved the architecture and the way all the buildings were connected.  Again, everything was so old.

Building lived in for a time by the Austen family
It is now a dentist office and not open to the public...
unless you want to get your teeth cleaned where Jane Austen once lived.

If you've read Northanger Abbey or Persuasion you're very familiar with the Assembly Rooms.  It seems that almost nightly balls were held here, and it was the center of Bath society.  On this particular weekend they were hosting a book fair in the rooms where Jane Austen danced.  This was a fun plus for us.

 Aren't the chandeliers gorgeous?

This wasn't your run-of-the-mill book fair.  It was antiquarian booksellers from all over England displaying and selling the rarest of books, first editions all over the place.  They were wonderful and beautiful and way out of our price range.  We even saw a first edition of Foxe's Book of Martyrs--super, super old.  We enjoyed browsing.

I think my original Bath post from England featured these sedan chairs that ladies were carried around the city in.  Very fun.

Traveling in Style

 a street shot outside of the Assembly Rooms

There's a lot more of Bath to come.

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