Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Beautiful Bath

We took so many photos in Bath that I could not confine myself to one blog post.  I also wanted to preface these photos with a quote from Jane Austen's "Persuasion," which I was reading on this trip:

“He hoped she might make some amends for the many very plain faces he was continually passing in the streets. The worst of Bath was the number of its plain women. He did not mean to say there were not pretty women, but the number of the plain was out of all proportion. He had frequently observed, as he walked, that one handsome face would be followed by thirty, or five-and-thirty frights; and once, as he had stood in a shop on Bond street, he had counted eighty-seven women go by, without there being a tolerable face among them. ... But still, there certainly were a dreadful multitude of ugly women in Bath; and as for the men! they were infinitely worse. Such scarecrows as the streets were full of!”

What a rude character!  I think beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.  And I'm sure I'm biased, but I thought that Rebecca added to the beauty of Bath.  And we certainly found Bath, on this weekend in particular, to be anything but plain. 

And for another Jane Austen quote, "I hope you saw her petticoat, six inches deep in mud, I am absolutely certain; and the gown which had been let down to hide it not doing its office . . . It seems to me to shew an abominable sort of conceited independence, a most country-town indifference to decorum."  ~ Pride and Prejudice

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jane Austen Festival in Bath

Our time in Bath was wonderful!  But it didn't start out that way.  We arrived earlier on Friday than we anticipated, so I decided to drive to the Jane Austen Center in downtown Bath.  I never expected all the steep and narrow streets with bumper to bumper traffic.  We took a few wrong turns and then tried to fight traffic to get back to where we intended.  We finally gave up in frustration, headed to our lodgings for the night, and then ended up having to parallel park on a hill.  I was exhausted and stressed out - probably more than any time on our trip - causing me to exclaim "I hate Bath!"

But I spoke too soon.  We woke up to beautiful weather and a wonderful breakfast smorgasbord with our hosts.  Rebecca got dressed in her regency attire and we headed to town to celebrate the Jane Austen Festival.

The first item on the agenda was a Promenade.  Hundreds of folks dressed in regency regalia paraded through Bath.  Rebecca joined the parade, and I walked alongside - snapping photos and just soaking it all in.  There was such an air of fun and excitement!

The promenade ended at the parade grounds where there was tea, dancing, etc.

There was a cool camera obscura, and Rebecca took a turn in it.  She said it was sort of like a periscope that allowed you to watch all the folks on the parade ground without them knowing it.

Afterwards we went to lunch.  This is the photo which I call "Jane Austen eats nachos."

She may be smiling, but not because she is impressed with English nachos.

During the weekend we also went to a regency "fayre":

and on a Jane Austen tour of Bath - where our tour guide pointed out all the settings that appeared in Jane's novels that were set in Bath  - "Persuasion" and "Northanger Abbey."  I have been reading "Persuasion" on the trip, so I really enjoyed being able to picture all the settings in my mind.  

We went to the pump room of the Roman baths, and drank a bit of the Bath water (which doesn't sound very appealing, does it?) that is supposed to be so healthy.

Here I am hoping that it is not that green water that I just drank:

We also attended Evensong at Bath Abbey.  This church seemed more like a "real church" than the other Anglican churches we attended on our trip.  There seemed to be actual church members there (not just tourists), Bible studies announced, etc.  They were all excited because their church has just been selected for the BBC broadcast on Christmas morning.  

This whole experience was like travelling back in time.  And just to make the time travel experience even more real, we had the unexpected pleasured of meeting "The Doctor" (12th and current doctor on the "Doctor Who?" show):

Rebecca noticed him in a gift shop and spoke to him.  We were the only ones in the shop, and he agreed to have his photo made.  He even asked us to check the camera to make sure his eyes weren't closed.  

Here are some more photos from our two days in Bath.  We still cannot believe the weather we have been blessed with.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

20,000 Legos Under the Sea

Believe it or not, the beaches of Cornwall became a destination on our trip when we heard that it's the only place where you can search the beaches for Lego instead of shells (did I mention that we like to do things out of the ordinary?). A cargo ship carrying Lego bricks sunk in 1997, and it continues to wash ashore.  Ironically, most of the pieces have a nautical theme.

Unfortunately, we did not find Lego.  The beach was remarkably clean.  We did bring a few of our own for a photo op.  These are some minifigs that Noah built to represent Rebecca and me looking for Lego.

While we didn't find Lego, we found a wonderful beach and had great weather. Blue skies and big surf.  There were so many surfers, and I loved watching  them. Plus I loved all the caves and cliffs to explore.  I've never been a huge fan of only beach -   I like the shoreline to be interesting.  We also had a fantastic sunset.  I wish I could be a kid again and go to this beach.

That's me waving!

While in the area, we also took in Tintagel - which is basically castle ruins where legend has it that King Arthur was born.  The castle was not much, but the view was great.