Thursday, August 17, 2006
A Journey south west and thousands years back in time.
We are ready to toast in Bath water. It comes from a well 85m deep and is 45c warm. It had an interesting lightly muddy taste with a bouquet of earth. I liked it.
Last week-end my friend Ben invited me for a week-end to Bath stopping at Stonehenge, it was an amazing journey in time. We spent time traveling speculating on the future of mobility recording lots of pictures and wondering about the visions and stamina in our ancestors when the hauled the giant rocks to Stonehenge and shaped them into the landmark it still is or how the Romans took advantage of the hot springs in Bath and engineered an amazingly sophisticated and beautiful spa. The 46c degree water pours out of the ground at a volume over 1M liters per day and it has done that for more than 2000 years. The bath was actively used as a place for cleansing, relaxing and worship for more than 400 years.
We drove along the small country roads spending the night in a small village called Freshford, where Ben grew up. Ben being a local I had the most authentic guide I could imagine, thanks. Stonehenge is about 1.15 minutes outside of London and Bath another hour south west.
When you visit England the history and heritage is omnipresent, but when you go to Stonehenge, Bath and when you drive by Silsbury Hill, the 4800 year old 40metre high man made hill, the largest man made structure in prehistoric Europe one really realize that one is in an epicenter of human civilization. Silsbury Hill is a mysterious place, researchers have not found a reason why it was built, place of worship or a gigant pile of tone to clear the ground around for farming.
We even had an opportunity to get a sense of the Bath spa culture, bathing in the new Thermae Spa recently opened in Bath. Unfortunately it was not as amazing as it could be as the water was cooled to normal pool temperature and did not have the taste and smell of earth that characterizes the water in the Roman bath. It was a well designed pool, yet it could be so much more….
Much of the country side is built with local material, sandstone retrieved in the local hills. It is a wonderful building material. It has a natural texture and a very pleasing calming colour tone and mixing it shaped and smoothened or raw gives the landscape a unique character.
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