While we waited for our hired bus to arrive, a frantic jogger approached my colleague and I asking if we could help him call the police because he had just had his phone ripped from his hands by the passenger on a motorbike. I hesitated for a moment, debating whether to try to have him go inside our housing agent's office on the street to use their phone, since this itself can be a common tactic to steal phones. But, he seemed earnest and desperate, so I pulled out my phone and told him that if he tried to run off with mine I would be chasing him down. My colleague later said she never would have let a stranger borrow her phone like that, but I figured helping someone was more important to me than material property and I would hope someone would do the same for me. Things can be replaced and, well, if he had run off I would have had 35 people around me as witnesses. As he gave the police his FindMyiPhone details, our coach arrived. He apologized profusely and handed mine back so I could board, then went to wait for the police on the corner. I hope they were able to recover it for him. :-(
When I boarded the bus, we used that situation to reinforce to students that the information we gave them during the health and safety orientation was not just fear-mongering, but theft and pick-pocketing is a real concern in the city.
On board the coach, our students learned why much fewer people drive in the UK than in America, as we sat in traffic for over an hour delay. Once we made it to Bath, we hurried off the coach to make sure we wouldn't lose our reservation at the Roman Baths.
Bath, known as Aquae Sulis in Roman times, is the home of the only hot spring in the U.K. The Romans built baths and a temple there and archaeologists have discovered many interesting items such as thousands of Roman coins and messages scratched onto metal, called curse tablets because people would write curses against others who had wronged them, to be read to the goddess Sulis Minerva. The hot spring water still bubbles up today and the ruins are the best preserved in northern Europe.
We had some free time for lunch, so I headed over to the Southgate shopping center - just a few minutes walking distance away. In 2016 they suspended a few hundred umbrellas in the air and it was so popular that they decided to bring them back this month and triple the amount.
In Southgate I ate at Cosy Club, on the suggestion of my friend Victoria - one half of the fabulous blogging duo She and Hem. Not only is their dining room incredibly charming, with a huge blue wooden bar, but they also have a lovely balcony that you can opt for when the weather is nice.
I went with the 3 tapas plate, choosing patatas bravas, spinach & goat's cheese croquettes, and avocado, tomato, & chili with ciabatta. Very delicious and very filling.
|I loved the decor and little touches on things, such as this envelope used to bring your bill.|
Since I will likely be back in a few weeks, I didn't want to try to cram too much else into the 40 minutes I had left, so I just meandered around the city, taking in the sunny weather.
|Ghost sign and false window|
From Bath we headed to Stonehenge and lost the sun along the way. I had been to Bath before, but this was my first time at Stonehenge, since you cannot take a train there and trains were my primary way of traveling back when I lived in the U.K. as a student.
monument is still a mystery.