My parents are in town! Which is great because not only did I miss them, but now we get to explore around England together!
We set off for a day seeing Bath and Stonehenge, stopping along our route in the charming market town of Tetbury. Every Saturday, the 17th-century market hall comes alive, and I loved browsing the racks of vintage furs and rummaging through trays of antique jewellery.
Above the market hall is a vendor selling a hearty selection of sheepskin and leather goods. We picked up two pairs of shearling gloves for £15! A terrific bargain for locally made products.
We piled back into the car and rambled through some beautiful countryside to the World Heritage city of Bath. Bath has special significance to me and my family because it is the sister city to my mother’s hometown of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia – also a historic resort town known for its natural springs.
Our time in Bath was severely limited, so we made our primary stop the ancient Roman Baths. The ruins here date back to 60 AD when the city was a spa town called Aquae Sulis.
The first Romans to come here were soldiers. Their architects and craftsmen built the Baths and Temple. Below is what remains of the temple front.
People from local tribes, officials and priests, and traders from across the Empire began to settle here. Pilgrims travelled here. And monuments were built here.
This stone head probably decorated the tomb of a wealthy lady. Her hair-do was fashionable in Rome in the later 1st century AD.
There was a fountain at the exit where we were able to taste the purified spring waters. It has a stinky sulphuric taste, but contains hundreds of times more minerals than your standard mineral water. I savoured a few sips, letting my body absorb the curative powers of the water. However, I won’t be giving up my Perrier anytime soon!
Our final stop for the day was the obligatory Stonehenge tour. It is, by far, one of the most moving sites on earth. I swear I can feel the energy in the air.
When I came two years ago, you could park your car right across the street from the stones, then cross through an underground tunnel to walk right up to the site. Now there’s a new visitor centre, and a shuttle bus ride one mile down the road.
But same as before, the experience once we reached the site was equally breathtaking.
As much as the little wheels in my brain churned away at the thought of it, these stones and how they got here, and the reason why, is frightfully unexplainable.
We walked the circuit around Stonehenge, utterly mesmerizing from every angle, the landscape changing like a kaleidoscope around it. A true wonder of the world!