A Condensed guide to a sabattical in Southwest England and London:
13. Don’t pay for Roman Bath Tour
It is a known fact that we Malaysians would do anything to get a free ride. We honestly didn’t mind paying to see the famed Roman Baths Hot Springs, but we entered the back-side of the bath house, manned by a single elderly chap. When we asked him where to pay the 15 quids per person (expensive!!), he told us to just walk through the bath house to the front and get the tour ticket there. Needless to say, by the time we walked through the bath house, we had taken sufficient photos and experienced the huge Roman dining hall to pass the actual tour.
14. Do the Free Touristy Stuff
If you’re into churches (as in architecture, not church girls), Bath has a pretty good one called the Bath Abbey, or St Peter. I think. We didn’t get to go inside because they were closed for service. And in any case we were in a hurry.
Another place you could go is the royal crescent, which is just a bunch of houses that are shaped as moon crescent. It’s supposed to be an architectural wonder, but I wouldn’t know, as my whole architectural experience consist of trying to extend my house kitchen into the backyard by 8 feet.
Something closer to my specialty would be the Jane Austen Centre. Now, I’ve read most of her books and I can honestly tell you I would likely nod off to sleep for each book. I don’t really get her books, and I’ve read Emma, Persuasions, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park. The only one I couldn’t get past was Northanger Abbey. Jane had a thing for Bath, so apparently she stayed around this area, which is near to the Crescent place. In the centre I found the solution for introducing Jane to my future kids: Comics! Marvel apparently had translated her books into comic form, which is great! Now at least we won’t fall asleep over the genteel English culture!
Finally, there’s probably a couple of tourist trap around Bath, aside from the obvious Roman Baths and Spa (get from Thailand, much better and cheaper). One that we got sucked in was this place called Sally Lunn, which is ‘World Famous’ for her Sally Lunn Bun. It’s at the oldest house in Bath, apparently built 1482. Heard of Sally Lunn? No? Me neither, so either we are not from this world or the ‘World Famous’ is as mythical as my ‘World Famous’ golf blog. Anyway, for the chinese, it’s difficult to say Sally Lunn without snickering at the surname a little. Hehe. Immature urchins.
Anyway, just take pictures but don’t try to bun, because it sucks. It’s just bread with chocolate (the one we had) and I had a hard time stuffing it in, knowing I paid an equivalent of RM30 for it.Apparently Legend had it that Sally hid the recipe at a secret compartment in the house, which was discovered by some intrepid busybody. Obviously, she hid it to remove the horrendous recipe from the face of this earth. Why must people uncover things that should be laid to rest? Haven’t they learnt from Transformers, not to dig up that old hack Sentinel Prime??