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This was my third visit to the Roman Baths.  Not on this trip, but I have been twice before on other visits.  I just love the baths though.  It is so amazing that the Romans built all those structures and designed the architecture and plumbing and it is all still standing and working.  Well, standing – only the bottom part of the baths are still there, but it’s the bottom part that has the baths, so that is still cool.  I love the idea that I am walking on the same stones as the Romans.

It was packed with people.  I decided to give the audio tour a try, but I didn’t like it.  The lady spoke too slowly and there were these unnecessary musical and sound effects interludes.  Like they are talking about the baths and then all of a sudden, all you hear are splashing noises.  Also, they didn’t really talk about the things I wanted to know.  Such as how the baths were restored, what parts were original roman and what was added later, when where they last used as baths, why exactly can we no longer bathe there.  The commentary was a bit more like this:  In .. the .. time .. of .. the .. Romans .. this .. was .. a .. popular .. meeting .. place .. (insert crowd noise) .. as .. well .. as .. a .. temple .. for .. worship…..  It drove me nuts.  I like reading things that they have posted or having a pamphlet to follow.

Me using the audio guide

I did drink the water.  Not from the baths, they have a safe water tap to drink from that is properly filtered.  I think some of the original piping is made from lead which is one of the reasons that people aren’t allowed to touch the water in baths.  The water was warm, of course, and had a bit of a taste, not an unpleasant taste, just a bit metallic.

There were ‘Romans’ walking around. I saw this one who looks like a slave, and there was a wealthy Roman woman wearing the most unusual wig I have ever seen, apparently based on drawings from roman times.

The baths as seen from the added later walkway. The original roman floors and the bottom of the original columns are visible. The actual roman baths would have had a roof like a modern indoor swimming pool.

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