Monday, 16 July 2007

Weekend in Bath

With eyes closed I lay back resting my head on the warm tiles of the Jacuzzi, my stress evaporating along with the bubbles. Jets of water massaging the tension from every muscle.

Small groups of women bobbed about in the water chatting - reminiscent of the Romans who used the baths as a meeting place and social activity.

The mineral rich waters (Britain’s only natural thermal waters) have been used as a health remedy for centuries, and the city houses the remains of the original Roman baths. The modern spa building combined the old with the new. Kathryn and I luxuriated in the thermal springs which are kept at a controlled temperature of 35 degrees throughout the Minerva Bath, the Royal Bath, and the Roof Top Bath, where we bathed in the sunshine. Luckily it didn’t rain on Saturday.

I'd met Kathryn at the Station on Friday lunch. We trundled through the beautiful city of Bath pulling our cases to the Hilton Hotel where we dined that evening. This was my sixtieth birthday treat from Kathryn.

We explored the city gasping at the beauty of the magnificent Georgian architecture of the Circus and Royal Crescent, the Cathedral and the Roman Baths

The whole of the following day we spent chilling out in the spa, sinking deeper and deeper into a state of blissful relaxation. I feared the soaking might shrivel my normally dry skin, and envisioned myself emerging after half an hour as wrinkled as a prune. But the longer I stayed in the water, which is infused with forty-one mineral salts, the softer my skin felt.

Still unable to swim, I floated around or doggy paddled with the aid of a rubber semi-circle, down canals, and around the baths and bubbling Jacuzzis. As the water was only 1.35 metres deep throughout, there was no chance of me drowning.

In four circular glass steam rooms, each infused with a different aromatic essential oil – mountain pine, eucalyptus mint, jasmine and lavender - we steamed away the toxins via our open pours, then stood beneath a ‘waterfall’ shower, which changed from a light misting into a tropical downpour that massaged our shoulders with sharp needle like fingers, turning back into a soft mist.

Everyone in the spa looked happy and relaxed. It’s a girly thing. I don't think Dan would like it, and Kathryn agreed. There were a few couples – but most of the bathers were women of different ages, shapes and sizes. As though on some happy drug they all kept continually smiling.

My final treat was an aromatherapy massage and an anti aging facial – sheer luxury.

Before leaving on Sunday, Aaron met us for lunch on his way back to London from Wales. We ate at a cafe overlooking the River Avon. Sitting outside, chatting about the wedding plans, listening to the rushing sound of the weir, I thought how lucky I was.

Copyright © 2007 Barbara Attwood

1 comment:

joannie said...

I can see where your son gets his talent for descriptive writing. So good to read a happy entry. To be able to enjoy life in the midst of difficulty and stress is truly a gift. I wish I were better at that!

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