Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Roman Baths Museum by Margot Justes

Many years ago, I was in London and took one of those standard day tours to Stonehenge and Bath. I expected to be delighted and see a few things I haven’t yet seen and I expected to learn something new–one of the many reasons I love to travel.

On this trip, the bus rolled along the lovely serene English countryside and the first glimpse of the enormous stones was surreal. They are magnificent, and back then you could actually go up close and personal as the saying goes. We reached Bath and had a measly few hours in a town where the Roman Baths Museum alone would have kept me busy for many hours. I swore someday I would come back.

My first book is set in Paris, because having lived there I have a great affinity for the city and always will. With the realization that I was going to write book two, Bath was the instant choice. That meant a return visit, this time a few days, not a few hours.

The second time, we took the train from Paddington station in London and two lovely hours later we were in Bath, this time for a few days rather than a few hours.

There are legends that say Bath was founded by a Celtic Prince in 863 BC, he suffered from leprosy and the healing waters cured him. Can you imagine the history?

As far as the Romans were concerned, cleanliness was next to godliness-hence the popularity of the baths. In 65 AD the invading Romans built a grand spa. Formidable Roman engineering skills allowed them to build a reservoir using lead-lined stone around the spring, thus supplying water to the baths. The Sacred Spring (one of my favorite sites in the museum) has an overflow system, which even today 2,000 years later still pumps the surplus water to the Avon River.

I spent quite a bit of time standing in front of the Sacred Spring, the hot moist steam reaching your face is far better than any facial, while the soothing and mesmerizing falling water allows the imagination to take root in your senses.

Buried and built over for many years, the baths were discovered and excavated in 1880. The steeped in history museum is simply truly amazing and gives you a remarkable sense of times past and through the ages to the present.

More Bath next week.

Till next Saturday,
Margot Justes

A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3
Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger’s death changes her life.
Missing ISBN 978-1-59080-611 1- coming February 2009
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Bob Sanchez said...

A visit to Bath sounds wonderful, Margot. My wife and I have talked about traveling to England and the Continent, but it's not likely to happen soon.

Good blog!

Margot Justes said...

I hope you and your wife have an opportunity soon-it truly is a wonderous place.