It took nearly a week but I finally found a vegetarian restaurant in the UK. It’s in Bath which is lovely. On the way up Peter explained that like Edinburgh, the city of Bath is made up of Georgian architecture but with a special composition known as “Bath stone” which doesn’t absorb smog and soot like Edinburgh’s sandstone. As a result, the city possesses that medieval market air without that ominous dark filter over the buildings. The city is full of character and history. A river runs through Bath and there are a number of bridges with scenic overlooks that are captivating.
We stopped at the Roman Baths which was packed with tourists. A street musician playing some ancient sounding music on a mandolin outside seeped into the entrance of the baths as I entered which added to the atmosphere of the place. The baths were fantastic as were the many sculptures and engraved stones showcased throughout. When I entered the Roman Baths it was overcast and chilly. When I left, it was beautiful outside! I took off my coat, rolled up the sleeves of my shirt and roamed the streets of Bath. If I had an endless supply of money, I would move to Bath. The few hours I spent there were one of the highlights of the tour.
I wandered into this place called The Green Rocket and was delighted to discover that they were a vegetarian restaurant. I had a fresh squeezed apple carrot ginger juice which really hit the spot. Tofu scramble never tasted so good. Music I appreciated played over their sound system. For the first time since I got here, I truly felt at home. A number of the tour attendees shared with me that Bath was the highlight of their Best of Britain experience so I was not alone in my love of Bath.
Afterwards, we went to Stonehenge which, like the Roman Baths, was packed with tourists. Peter said it was nothing compared to peak season when there are between 5-6,000 people a day. Stonehenge was interesting and I am glad I saw it but it was pretty underwhelming when compared to Bath. There is a walkway around a gated portion of the stones. I took pictures all the way around. What I found most amusing was the vast amount of people with selfie sticks posing for themselves with Stonehenge as a backdrop. After Stonehenge, we headed for London. I said goodbye to Mark, our sweet Welsh bus driver from CIE Tours whose last stop was London.
By the time we made it to London, it was dark and I was tired so I dined in the hotel restaurant. There is some kind of rugby tournament going on this weekend which had lots of hollers and whoops coming from people in the conjoining lounge. Peter said that you rarely hear people speak English in London. It is a cultural melting pot. I haven’t been here that long but I have heard German, Russian, French and middle eastern accents but not one British accent as of yet. Tomorrow is my only full day in London and my final day of the Best of Britain tour. I met some good people along the way including the CIE Tours tour guide, Peter, a Scotsman who is a fountain of both wit and wisdom. Everybody on the tour loved him.
In the morning, we go on a tour of the Tower of London but afterwards I am free to roam the city.