Monday, 17 September 2012

Final Travels

After another day of rest we headed to Bath, England. This city contains the only Roman bath in England. It was built in 60 AD, for the god Sulis Minerva, by Emperor Claudius. We were able to tour this ancient bath house and even taste some of the water from a spring.  The city is now a bustling tourist area that has a lot of local shops and Georgian architecture. It is also the setting for several Jane Austen novels. We were able to tour a typical 17th century home to get a better idea of how an upper class family would live in the fashionable city of Bath.

Our next outing was to Ironbridge, a city in northern England. It is the home of the world’s first iron bridge (go figure), and an important area for the start of the Industrial Revolution. We were able to see the bridge (built in 1779) and tour Abraham Darby’s iron factory. This factory housed many of the innovations to the metal industry and told a lot about the direction of future innovations.

After touring the iron factory, we checked out a huge exhibit of fine porcelain tea cups and figures. We also explored the inside of a huge kiln that was no longer used to bake pottery and popped into a few local shops. There were a number of pottery and glass work stores, and we were able to watch a woman finalize a series of very nice pots.

    After a full day of exploring we settled down and had our first official cup of English tea with the traditional scones. The guy in the picture below is John, he was our bus driver during our travels, and a nice man.

This week concluded our amazing and tiring 2 weeks of travel across England. I’m glad that it’s over and I can begin my normal life of living in Oxford, but I’m extremely grateful to have a better understanding of some of the different places in England. Now I feel more confident talking to natives and have a better understanding of where their home towns are located. It was fantastic to see the English countryside as well, that is, when I wasn’t sleeping on the coach.

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