Leave the boys at home! Girls weekend Bath England

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, July 5, 2013

I love Bath! It just screams period England at you with its countless stone terraces lining the streets and the beautiful gothic Cathedral. A perfect setting for a weekend away with my partner in crime Jess!

Leaving Cory at Mark's place (a close college friend of ours) in London I caught the early train to Bath. I got in a few hours ahead of Jess who was flying in from Dublin so I made the most of the perfect weather and had a stroll around the city, absorbing its most wonderful sights and sounds. I must say the busking in Bath is a cut above the rest, with many of the street performers playing relaxing summer music which just added to the sunny feeling of the place. I poked around in some the quaint little shops and then grabbed some food from the supermarket to eat in Orange Grove - a lovely little garden area in front of the cathedral and impressive Garfunkel Hotel. Looking at the time I headed back to the hostel to wait for Jess in the bar. Nursing a beer in an English pub isn't a bad way to pass the time! Finally my dear friend did turn up - loud and boisterous as usual! After a few catch up beers and jam jars (lovely little English cocktail invention) I went on the exclusive Jess Morrison tour of Bath. All her years tramping around England and the rest of Europe finally paid off with her giving me tour around all the famous spots and a detail history to boot! The evening was filled a lovely picnic in Bath's many parks with of course loads more gossip!

To start our full day in Bath we trotted up to see all the fancy houses in the Bath Circus (which is a fancy name for spectacular looking round-a-bout area) and the famous Royal Crescent. As some of you literary fans might know Jane Austin lived in Bath for a few years and set a couple of her books there, mainly Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. So a visit to the Jane Austin Centre was a must! I really enjoyed the presentation on Jane Austin's life and family given by a lovely young woman dress up in period costume. The museum itself was nice but the highlight for Jess and I definitely was dressing up in costumes from the Jane Austin era. I think we would have made very nice society ladies!

A bit of shopping was called for after the museum so off we went exploring the streets again. We happened to come across a small flea market which we had a poke around. Unfortunately we didn't find any antique bargains worthy of Antiques Roadshow or Bargain Hunt, so we decided to call it a day and retire to the Pig and Fiddle for a pint or two. Here we met a coupe of lively English people who we laughed with (and at for part of the time). Stuart, a lovely but quite drunk guy screwed up his courage to come over and start talking to us, but on finding our wit way to much to handle his friend Lou came over to help save him. From there on in we had a great time mostly laughing at Stu and chatting with Lou and a few of her friends. After a while we had to move on as Jess was determined that I experience a true English pub crawl - so we also visited The Bell and The Salamander that night, with a bit of pizza thrown in between. I do love the names of the English pubs, especially those with animal names - so fun! Three pubs was enough for me though (gosh I must be getting old!) and we headed back to the hostel at a reasonable hour for bed.

This morning we rose early again and I saw Jess off at the train station on her way to the airport. The city is so beautiful in the early Sunday morning with few people around. I took the opportunity to go see the Roman Baths then - the first time I had seen the entrance without a mile long line. These baths are just exquisite and I loved the servants, roman ladies and the roman priest walking around the bath in full character! The museum itself was fantastic and had heaps of artifacts from the time the Bath area was occupied by the Romans. I continued to have a walk around the city, including a stroll along the River Avon before I finally had to tear myself away and catch the train to Didcot to meet Cory at our friends Duncan and Lucy's place. I am currently on the train now writing this watching the quintessential English paddocks and hedgerows flash by.
Must get ready. Love the UK!!

Now its time for Cory's recap of the weekend's events
- Friday. 9am I wake up. After 3 months I finally got rid of her for a weekend, peace and quiet at last!
- 10am Off to Fat Tire bike tour around London. Survive this one and I get a free t-shirt!
- 12pm Hear a story about a guy breaking into Buckingham palace in the 1980s, stealing a bottle of wine, and waking the queen up to have an early morning drink, smoke, and a chat. His only crime, stealing the bottle of wine.
- 1:30pm Bike tour lunch break. Joined up with a couple from Perth for a good ol' pub lunch.
- 6:30pm See an ad at the train station. They make tequila flavored beer now?
- 7pm catch up with Mark and friends for "post work" drink.
Saturday 11am With Mark and his Aussie friend. Can't be bothered watching the England vs Australia rugby match. We choose to watch the Hawthorn vs Geelong clash instead (the choice of many sports fans around Australia that day).
2pm Off to the park, ciders and frisbee in hand.
6pm Catch the train to Duncan and Lucy's place in Didcot.
7pm Off to a BBQ. England is a great place to be when the weather is nice!
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