Bath to Salisbury


Exhaustion by any other name ………………………

Phew.

And so this evening finds us in Salisbury, filled with the wonders of Bath and plenty to think about. More than anything I thought how my old Latin teacher Miss Young would have loved the Roman baths. In vain I tried to translate the Latin inscriptions but very little came back to me, except thoughts of Youngie and her comprehension of and love for that old language and the heritage it told. Tells.

It always seemed to me that Youngie really loved the Romans … and I have the impression that they were in the main benevolent colonisers. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

Amazing that time has covered the site of the baths with 20 feet of ground, so that you have to walk down lots of stairs to get to them. The personal stories, as usual this time ‘round in the UK most beautifully presented and the artefacts beautifully restored and displayed, brought the human factor into such sharp focus.

bathIt was a thrill for me that Bill Bryson was one of the voices on the audio trail at the Roman baths, being a Bill Bryson fan myself and currently rocking the bed every night with his hilarious descriptions of Europeans. His voice on the audio was not what I expected. Quite Pommy, and with just a trace of the American mid-west remaining.

To have slept last night with the sound of the River Avon outside our window, and paced today the Bath streets resonant of so much past and so many wondrous tales, and taken the double-decker bus tour of the town (upstairs, up the very back as usual), and gaped at the Roman baths and seen the statues of Caesar and Claudius and Hadrian (who was a bit of a spunk, actually – nice bod anyway) and soaked up their stories and remembered Youngie so profoundly has drained the last vestige of energy from me.

The Cotswolds, the Somerset scenery, its thatched and tiled rooves, Tudor houses, brick and flint constructions, stone walls, hills and hedges – I hope they lodged somewhere in my saturated memory bank. They were certainly appreciated at the time.

Stonehenge tomorrow, then Windsor. Our second-last night in the UK.

                          ©jane grieve

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