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.

3 comments:

Chris 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.

Apple de Messy 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...