Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Salisbury and Bath

After Stonehenge, our day trip out of London took us to Salisbury, which is about 15 minutes away from Stonehenge. Salisbury is an old city with some buildings dating back to the 13th century. There's a wide range of pubs, restaurants, and tea rooms. We ate lunch at one of the quaint pubs and had a traditional fish and chips meal which was mighty tasty!

One of the oldest buildings in Salisbury.
Mom, we thought you'd like this.

After lunch we went to the Salisbury Cathedral. It was built using the Early English Gothic architectural style and is one of Britain's finest medieval cathedrals. The tallest spire was added a generation later.

Inside the cathedral there is nearly 800 years of incredible history. Here is where the finest preserved Magna Carta is (there are four). It is one of the most celebrated documents in English history and has influenced the modern day world in different ways. There are three clauses from the document that are still in use today. Seeing the document in person was definitely the highlight of our trip to the Salisbury Cathedral. We also saw the world's oldest working clock, which is thought to be from 1386. The clock has no face, and was designed to strike the hours.

World's oldest working clock.
After our time in Salisbury we took the one hour trip to Bath. Aside from many restaurants, shops, theaters, and museums, the city also houses the Roman Baths. Yes, we left Italy and went all the way to Bath to see some ancient Roman ruins! Here, the water from the springs are so hot you can see it bubble and steam. The Romans thought the bubbling water was from the gods, so they built a temple around it in 60-70 AD and the bathing complex was gradually added over the next 300 years.

Hot spring water on its way to the bath.

There is also a museum that holds artifacts from the Roman period which were thrown into the spring, probably offerings to the gods.

Ancient Roman coins.
Yep, that's a skeleton.

Gorgon's Head from the Temple Pediment.

The actual spring water in the Roman Bathhouse is extremely unsanitary and has bacteria and parasites. Before going into the site, everyone is warned about the filthiness of the water. We did see many people touching the water to feel the temperature of it so hopefully they didn't pick up something they didn't want to get! However, at the end of the museum there is a restaurant that features extremely filtered hot spring water. We didn't eat here, but they have a water station with a bartender serving the hot spring water. We tried the warm water and it had a strong sulfur taste to it.

Mmm... sulfur...
Afterwards, we walked around the cute city of Bath. We walked in and out of shops and were enchanted by the old buildings, music playing, and people strolling along for a nice day out. Before we knew it, it was time to board the bus and head back to London.

A lot of signs!

English countryside.
We're really glad we saw these two places in England. The bus tour saved us from driving on the "wrong" side of the road and it allowed us to see sites that we otherwise might not have seen.


  1. Bath looks SO lovely!!! Now I am even more determined to finish that trip!

  2. WOW! Beautiful buildings and gorgeous cathedrals! How did you know that I would like the building named The Lazy Cow?!! And I love that old clock! How about if we meet there?!! (HaHa!!) The Roman Baths look nice, but I don't think I'll be going in there!!