Le Avventure Di Sophia Graf

My thrilling adventures in Europe!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


On Sunday we went to Bath. It is a city called Bath because it has working Roman baths. There is also a Roman temple there dedicated to Sulis (a local goddess) Minerva (a Roman goddess, the same as Athena from Greek mythology). There were audio tours just like at Stonehenge, even though it was not an English Heritage site like Stonehenge. To do an audio tour you get a little handset. There are numbers spread out throughout the site. Each number turned on a different recording about what you were standing in front of, so when I pushed the number next to the temple ruins it talked about the architecture and the symbolism of the engraving. They also had children’s audio tours, and Cindy was really cute, listening to each number and rattling facts off to Anthony. She even got him to listen to a few on her handset.

The baths themselves were kind of interesting. There were a lot of rooms and artifacts, since both the baths and the temple had been here originally. The reason that there was a temple was because the bath water came from a natural spring and the Anglo-Saxons or maybe the Romans thought that water coming out of the earth must come from the gods and was therefore sacred. The cool thing was that the original Roman drainage system was still in use. At the end of the tour we got to taste the spring water for free with our ticket. It was warm (the brochure said the water was 115 degrees F) and tasted like egg yolk, which is not surprising since the brochure says that sulfate is one of the main dissolved ions (which I think means there’s a lot of sulfur in it?).

Before we went to see the baths though, the boys (my dad, Thomas, and Anthony) went to Bristol to get my dad’s jacket which he had left on a train. While they were there, the girls (my mom, Cindy, and I) had high tea in the Pump Room, the room where they pump the water from the spring and sell it, which has been converted into a restaurant. It was a fancy tea. We ordered a traditional tea for one and got three finger sandwiches, two miniature quiche thingies, a big, rich scone with clotted cream (kind of like butter) and jam, and three desserts: an éclair, a fruit tart, and a banana chocolate layered mousse with banana gel at the bottom. We also got a pot of tea and a refill of hot water. The whole tea was really good, but I was full from lunch and by the time I got to the desserts I could hardly eat.


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