Friday, October 8, 1999
Jana and I walked BK and Stine to Victoria Station to see them off. Jana and I had two more days in England before we headed home.
Jana went to get info on getting to Bath since the regular route was closed due to the big train wreck on Tuesday. The travel assistance lady thought this was a real bother and asked Jana "Do you really need to go to Bath?" Well, yeah. She gave us a printout of the detoured route avoiding Paddington, but with no explanation.
We caught the tube to Waterloo and then a train to Redding. It was a long, empty, noisy, older train, but we liked it! We had the whole car to ourselves. At Redding we got free Internet access at a booth operated by a local college. There was a memorial to Tuesday's train crash victims. Most of the victims were from Redding, and there were pictures, flowers, and letters from the victims' families at the memorial. It was very moving.
We changed trains at Redding, but got on the wrong train. From the looks of the other passengers, Jana discerned we were headed to Korea, but the ticket guy said we were going to Wales. As it turns out, there were a bunch of people on the wrong train. The right and wrong trains leave five minutes apart from the same track and they werenít well marked.
They werenít set up to get us on the right train, but they were set up to fix it. They pushed us all out at Bristol Parkway and stuck us in cabs to Bristol at no charge. There we caught a quick train to Bath. We had helped a Korean mother and daughter fix this mistake with us, and they seemed grateful. It seemed this is a common problem, and strange that they address the problem by sending passengers in taxis rather than marking the train more prominently.
We got a room at a B&B in Bath on about the hundredth floor (or maybe the fifth). As usual, very steep stairs and non-ensuite pink room. We went to lunch and then went to see the town. It is a beautiful place. There are gardens everywhere and the architecture is very nice.
Of course we went to the Roman Baths, a bath and temple complex built over natural hot springs. Itís quite amazing to think it was built between the 1st and 4th centuries. We walked around by ourselves for a while and then caught a guided tour.
The Roman Baths
From there we went to the Royal Crescent. Itís a fine example of Georgian architecture. We also took a walk down by the river - beautiful.