St Michaels – Bath

St Michaels is a beautiful church in the centre of Bath. Inevitably overshadowed by Bath Abby, St Michaels contains a stunningly modernised interior.

Panoramic view inside St Michaels in Bath
Panoramic view inside St Michaels in Bath

St Michaels has clearly moved with the times. Inside the walls are crisp, clean, and the upper level is a delight. The walkway from staircase to the church offices is a delightful mixture of traditional wooden railings with modern glass floor.

It is not only the decoration that has moved with the times, a cafe has made its home at the back of the church. Nestled behind the pews is seating, a few tables, and a dedicated food and drink preparation area.

The decision to commit so fully to becoming a more welcoming useful space must have been difficult. It took a few moments to become comfortable with the sacrilege but what purpose is an empty dying church? Better to embrace a daring path, than suffer an assured decay.

St Michaels, Bath
St Michaels, Bath
Traditional church seating and cafe seating
Traditional church seating and cafe seating
Food and drink preparation for the cafe
Food and drink preparation for the cafe
Stain glass window
Stain glass window
St Michaels Church, Bath
St Michaels Church, Bath
Stairs leading to the upper level
Stairs leading to the upper level

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Bath – Guildhall Market

We visited Bath‘s Guildhall Market. The market building contains an 18th Century pillar where trades were agreed.

The stalls appear permanent. A mixed selection of cloth, food stuffs, and household stalls. A cafe or two provides some seating in one corner.

Large door mat emblazoned with the Bath Guildhall Market logo
Large door mat emblazoned with the Bath Guildhall Market logo
Market stalls within Bath Guildhall Market
Market stalls within Bath Guildhall Market
Market stalls within Bath Guildhall Market
Market stalls within Bath Guildhall Market
Roof of the guildhall
Roof of the guildhall
Fruit and nuts in sacks
Fruit and nuts in sacks
Selection of British cheeses
Selection of British cheeses
18th Century market pillar
18th Century market pillar
Iconic British food stuffs modelled as household items
Iconic British food stuffs modelled as household items

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Bath – Thermal Spa

Opportunities to sink into a thermal bath do not come along often. At least not in our world. When we booked our trip to Bath, we both knew that a trip to the thermal spa was a must.

Branded as Thermae Bath Spa, the spa uses the heated ground water to fill pools and saunas. As with all commercialised natural spas, claims are made that the high mineral content benefits bathers.

Thermae Bath Spa
Thermae Bath Spa
Signage showing the floors of the spa in Bath
Signage showing the floors of the spa in Bath

We tried to justify the expense in many different ways but the simple reasoning of it being unlikely we will return to Bath again was enough.

The thermal spa was enjoyable but not the overwhelmingly luxurious experience I hoped for. If I lived locally, we would not rush to return. It would be something suggested to guests.

No photos were allowed inside and I have no intention of risking my camera in such a wet environment. What photos I have are of the outside of the complex.

Modern signage for the spa
Modern signage for the spa
"Roman Bath" carved into the Bath stone
“Roman Bath” carved into the Bath stone

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Bath

Bath is a city made of limestone. Everywhere you look buildings of beautifully carved stone line the streets.

Bath is an historically wealthy city in the United Kingdom. The thermal springs below ensured the city’s notability and prosperity over time. That in turn has led an assortment of grandiose architecture and adorned vistas.

We visited in winter. The sky was overcast and the sun lacking. On the positive side, the tourist numbers were low and we could spend the entire day wandering without overheating.

Stone archway
Stone archway
Bath Cathedral
Bath Cathedral
Bath Cathedral
Bath Cathedral
Seats surround a square between the cathedral and Roman spa
Seats surround a square between the cathedral and Roman spa
Water fountain and modern roundabout
Water fountain and modern roundabout
The Holburne Museum
The Holburne Museum
The Holburne Museum
The Holburne Museum
Grand streets of stone houses
Grand streets of stone houses
River before Pulteney Bridge
River before Pulteney Bridge
The Weir
The Weir

Pulteney Bridge

The United Kingdom does not have many built-upon bridges but Bath is home to one. Pulteney Bridge is a bridge lined with shops. Walking across you would be forgiven for not realising the bridge existed. The shops continue unbroken with only their relative high giving away the shift from land to water back to land.

Looking across Pulteney Bridge
Looking across Pulteney Bridge
Shops along Pulteney Bridge
Shops along Pulteney Bridge
Pulteney Bridge at night
Pulteney Bridge at night

Carved Stone

Everywhere is carved stone. Older streets have their names carved in stone. Modern signage has been added but the original names remain.

Carved street name
Carved street name
Carved name above a passageway
Carved name above a passageway
Carved plinth details
Carved plinth details
Carved plinth details
Carved plinth details

Below Street Housing

I most strongly associate below street level housing with Edinburgh. Another city built on hills and steep inclines.

Houses built along an incline
Houses built along an incline
Street level front door
Street level front door
Below street level housing
Below street level housing

Bridges

We stayed along the river and our walk into the centre was along with river.

Bridge with Bath extending onto the hills beyond
Bridge with Bath extending onto the hills beyond
Church of St John
Church of St John
Train passing over a bridge
Train passing over a bridge

Stepping Aside

Not all of Bath is a held back in the past. Walk a little of the tourist routes and the city inhabited by the local population appears. Modern, sometimes grimy, lived in buildings and locations that help ground the place in reality.

Less touristy side of Pulteney Bridge
Less touristy side of Pulteney Bridge
Tunnel under the train station
Tunnel under the train station
Bridges old and more modern
Bridges old and more modern

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Filming La Fête nationale

Getting great photos at night is a challenge. We have tried before and the number of good shots to blurred is heart breaking.

When still images fail, I turn to taking footage. Experience has taught me that footage turns out better in low light, with fast motion, or in difficult situations.

Previously, I would have gone to the fireworks planning to film the entire event. A complete record of the show. Proud in knowing I captured every moment.

Today, I feel that completionist approach acts a good record but is rarely entertaining for others to watch – or even for myself to re-watch.

Lyon’s fireworks tend to run on for a while. The show lasts about 20 minutes and it has felt longer. The city could get away with a much shorter show.

Last night I took my footage, as usual, and decided to edit something together before bed. It was a late night.

On reviewing the short film of Lyon’s La Fête nationale firework show this morning, I felt it a not too bad a sample of the evening.

Short, snappy, and a taster of the event.

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