Tuesday, 1 August 2006

weekend in Bath

I had a long description of my voyage over to Bath on Saturday, but I found it dull. It was long - I left at 7am french time and arrived around 10pm English time - and contrived, but I got there more or less intact.

On Sunday morning I went for a walk around Bath for a while, then found a bench by the canal, from which this photo was taken, and spent a few hours reading my book.

Later in the afternoon I headed off to find the hotel where Sandy & Neil's wedding party was on. I got hopelessly, desperately lost, and an hour and a half later managed to contact someone to say as much and get some directions. I was pretty embarassed to be so late (an hour!) but as it turned out I missed the croquet but arrived in time for dinner, which was something. It was a really nice party, too, with a nice buffet, some brief speeches, and plenty of time to catch up with Neil, Sandy, Jaye and Jaye's wife Alexis, who I'd been looking forward to meeting.

On Sunday I was waiting to meet up with Jaye and Alexis, sitting on the same bank of the canal reading my book when a guy from my hotel passed and said hello. He commented how I was reading, and how so few people did these days, and we got into a conversation about all manner of things including the nature and relative value of intelligence and intuition. Fascinating, and the sort of thing I wish happened more in the world.

That done, I met up with Jaye & Alexis in town and we went for a look through the Abbey. We were going to have a walk through the baths as well, but considered 11 pounds a bit too steep. Instead, we met Neil & Sandy for lunch at a nice little restaurant, then went for coffee and talked for a couple of hours.

The trip back was even longer and less pleasant. I wasn't able to sleep on the overnight ferry crossing (11 hours!) and because of inconvenient train timetables didn't get home until about 11am, having left Bath at 4:30pm the previous day.

Notwithstanding all of that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. The weather threatened inclemency at various times, but was on the whole palatable. I also managed to get through about half (350 pages or so) of Dan Simmons' Olympos, which given my recent reading form represents excellent progress.


Anonymous said...

11 hours!!!? You can practically spit over the channel! What did they do in the meantime, circum-navigate the whole island!?

Jim said...

Its by no means the shortest crossing (Dover-Calais is 30 minutes I think). Nor themost direct. It pretty much runs Portsmouth-Caen and Caen-St Malo (French geography test there), and the weather off those coasts can be pretty hairy, even for a boat that size (9 stories). They also slow down at night to let people sleep (ha!) - my trip over was 9 hours.

Anonymous said...

How delightful! I am very jealous and Bath is probably my favourite English city to boot. Oh well, I shall just have to wait until their arrival on Australian soil...