The start of something new amidst the old world
Six months ago a stack of tarot cards and “Madame Marga,” a spiritual healer from Barcelona who I met in Mexico, told me that come mid summer I would embark on a big journey that would be very different from the long-term, round-the-world healing mission I began in April of 2016.
“This trip will not be for healing. It will not be for work. It will not be for love. It will just be for you. So you can learn how to enjoy your new life without debilitating chronic pain. So you can show yourself genuine care and enjoy the freedoms that come with feeling pure, inner love.”
Sitting on a big coach bus on my way from London for a day trip to the historic city of Bath, I couldn’t help but beam with happiness at the realization that Marga’s fortune had in fact come true for me. After 8 years battling a mysterious chronic pain condition (called Repetitive Strain Injury), and 14 months searching the world-over for a cure, the next leg of my journey are finally no longer about pain, rest, healing work, recovery and refuge. My days are now about living in blissful freedom and experiencing the beautiful world that unfolds before me.
There’s so much beauty everywhere for us to enjoy. It’s here for you, too, when you’re good and ready for it. ;)
Getting There From London
Taking the train would have been faster, but the bus was by far the most affordable option, so I booked my trip through Megabus.com. There were a number of buses to choose from throughout the day, but I went with the earliest departure (that leaves Victoria Coach Station at 8:30am > arrives at Bath City Center at 11:30am) and the latest return bus (departs Bath at 6:05pm > arrives back in London at 9:30pm). All for a whopping £17. Both buses were new and practically empty so I had plenty of room to stretch out.
I suggest listening to the Rick Steves Audio Europe discussion on what to do and see in Bath on SoundCloud during your bus ride there. You can also apply ahead of time for the World Heritage Audio Tour of Bath by filling out a simple online form. Or if you prefer an in-person tour and more structure, free 2-hour guided tours start at the Abbey Church Yard from Sunday-Friday at 10:30 and 2pm, and Saturday at 10:30am, regardless of weather. I like to snap a lot of photos and dilly dally at my own pace, so I'm all about the self-guided adventure.
My Bath-on-a-Budget Itinerary
Most visitors hit the Roman Baths first, but when I went there around noon the place was packed, the ticket line was long and the sun was bright and beating down, so I decided to save the main attraction for the end of my day in Bath. I ended up walking right up to the ticket counter around 4:30 in the afternoon, and while the Baths were still well occupied by other tourists, the lighting conditions were great and I wasn't competing too much for space. I skipped the swanky Thermae Bath Spa because it was out of my budget (£35 for 2 hours).
Here's a quick run down of how I suggest spending an afternoon in Bath:
- Visit Bath Abbey (and go inside for a suggested £4 donation)
- Take in the beauty of the River Avon at Pulteney Bridge
- Have a picnic lunch in the little park next to the river
- Take a stroll down Great Pulteney Street
- See the exhibits at the free Holburne Museum
- Walk Bathwick Street to The King's Circus and have some chill time in the Circus park
- Check out The Royal Crescent and visit the Crescent Museum (if you have £10 to spare)
- Walk through Victoria Park to the Jane Austen Center (adult entry £11) or just browse their gift shop
Detour: Grab some food for the bus ride home at Waitrose
- Loop back for your afternoon tour of The Roman Baths (adult entry £17)
- If you still have time to kill, stop at Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House for the free museum and a cup of tea
Bath Through My Lens
Below are images from 10 stop day tour of Bath, shot with my new mirrorless Sony a6300 (through either a 16-50mm or 55-210mm lens).
1. Visit Bath Abbey
In the heart of Bath's City Center. Go inside for a suggested £4 donation.
2. Take in the beauty of the River Avon at Pulteney Bridge
3. Have a picnic lunch in the little park next to the river
4. Take a stroll down Great Pulteney Street
Check out the charming shops and store fronts and admire the grand Georgian architecture.
5. See the exhibits at the free Holburne Museum
6. Walk Bathwick Street to The King's Circus
And have some chill time in Circus park.
9. Loop back for your afternoon tour of The Roman Baths
Adult entry is £17.
10. Stop at Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House
For the free museum and a cup of tea, and do some window shopping in the City Center before catching your bus back to London.
To see more of my travel photos follow me on Instagram: @yuppieredneckdrifter.