Sunday, February 27, 2011

A short Bath

A short Bath

On Wednesday and Thursday, I went to Bath, home of the famous Roman baths.

I also lost the Olin challenge. Read on!

The city of Bath was used as a spa for Romans almost 2000 years ago. In Medieval times, people built over the ruins of the baths, and it wasn’t until the Victorian era that someone discovered the ruins of the baths.

Now a good portion has been excavated and turned into a tourist attraction. You can see here where the actual Roman ruins end and the Victorian era rebuild starts (near my head).

I didn’t think I would like the baths too much. Afterall, I spent the past 2 months looking at historical ruins in Paris and London! But I ended up getting lots of insights on today’s culturefrom reading about Roman lives back then:
  • women (and men) who required 10 slaves and lots of shiny objects: just look at how much our society shops today.
  • people who would go to priests to write curses (on pieces of lead) at other people; nowadays, we just complain/gossip to our friends
  • people who built huge tombstones to themselves, in hopes of being remembered; nowadays, we try to “leave an impact on the world” (note, I’m not saying that’s bad. Just when it’s in excess and at the cost of our relationships).

I may sound too philosophical, but it was a genuine thought I had, perhaps after 7 days of accumulating tourism.

Travel tip

I figured out that going to grocery stores and buying sandwich meats/bread was a lot cheaper/delicious/healthier than going out to restaurants everytime.

I lost the Olin challenge*

I was walking around Bath Wednesday night, when I ran into Becky Belisle and Jona Raphael on the street!
That’s right, Boston!

I knew Becky was studying in Bath as part of her Fulbright program, but I completely forgot about that when I planned my trip to England. Also, Jona happened to be there at the time too.

For those of you non-Oliners, Becky and Jona graduated from  Olin a few years ago. The Olin Challenge is trying to avoid seeing other Oliners (which shouldn’t be that hard, given that our Alumni base is about 400 students) while traveling. Apparently I lost.

Interesting thing of the day

Something you wouldn’t see in the U.S.:

The guy also did this:

Yes, that is an audience member’s child.

1 comment:

  1. Now THAT is a bath. It's got nothing on my bathroom (or any other I've seen, for that matter). I'm not sure I like the bathroom remodeling nyc of the Victorian era. I wish they had kept the original Roman architecture.