Friday, April 7, 2017
With such a moving experience in Glastonbury, a few hours later in Bath, I was numb. I needed time to process, but more sights awaited. We walked through the city streets in amazement of the aged buildings. I also noted how everything was built with stone. I had noticed this earlier. As I think back about my thoughts then, I have realized a few things. In my travels to Mexico and New Orleans, the areas contain the smell of rot. The damp, humid air combined with wooden structures creates a pungent aroma. Also in these areas along with Hawaii, the paint peels and many building have a rundown look to them even with a fairly fresh coat of paint. Moisture erodes. In Britain, the extensive use of stone cuts down on the erosion. Of course, we traveled through poor areas of London and Liverpool and saw some decay, but not like the other areas I have traveled. The stone created a cleaner, fresher environment.
Once at the Roman Baths, we donned our attractive headsets. I followed the signs and dutifully pushed the buttons to learn about the history. None of the information stuck. My brain was so full that all the works spilled out. I snapped pictures not even knowing what I focused on before pressing the button. Today as I edited the photos, I am relieved that I did get some good shots of the decretive statues and architecture.
The British king Bladud discovered the springs around 832 BC. The Romans built the baths around 70 AD with remodeling through the centuries. I stood on ground that had been enjoyed for the last 2849 documented years! Incredibly mind blowing. As for the Romans? Their decorative and artistic flare is stunning.
Leaving the baths as I waited for my companions taking a break, I sat on a bench watching tourists passing on the cobblestone street. The pigeons flew overhead and toddled on the pavestones. A few sported brown feathers. Yes, I loved watching them and took a few pictures.
Around the corner, I stopped in awe. As the others detoured to shops, I stood transfixed. Before me, a street performer sang "The Sound of Silence." The chatter of the crowds faded as my ears picked out the words of the song. "And the vision that was planted in my brain, Still remains…The streets of cobblestone... Silence like a cancer grows…And the people bowed and prayed, To the neon god they made…." Once again, emotion rolled over me. The moment was profound. I couldn't explain it at the time. As I look back on the moment, understanding reveals knowledge in my heart. Someday, I may write about the experience in detail. Until then, the haunting melody will remains a mystery.
As I played with the pictures, I used a little of my own artistic flare. I love how I cropped the statue to just the boots.