With the Olympics approaching fast I left the erratic London traffic with some relief and finally arrived in Bath. What a lovely place How could I possibly have missed it in all the years I lived in England? Shame, absolutely shame on me.
We are having a heat wave at the moment with temperatures truly soaring, a real summer with a Mediterranean flavour. I arrived carrying a heavy suitcase - oh the days when I travelled light! Why is it that as you get older you seem to be unable to leave things behind? Bath is only one and a half hour away, I kept reminding myself, with the same major shops as any other English city. But no, I had to carry stuff which once unpacked made me realise that I should not have bothered with. Plus I am going back home every sunday! Anyway, I am digressing.
Being in Bath, you just have to think about well being, it's in the air. This is the place where for thousands of years people have been enjoying the waters, coming specially for it.
So it is no coincidence that as soon as I arrived I began to think about my body and its condition and I thought it needed some improvement. My digs are very central, two minutes away from a women only gym and one minute from a yoga centre. I wanted to attend classes but those at the gym are in the evening, I am busy working at those times so I had to settle for a personal trainer first thing in the morning. Yoga classes fortunately can be done in the morning though the centre is only operating late morning classes - I so dislike that, it means you cant have breakfast unless you get up at 6, which I find myself doing anyway because of the heat and of course the light that filters through around 4 (it's summer time). But you can't be in Bath and not experience the Thermae, Bath Spa. A visit is not exactly cheap but it is worth it. Even if you decide not to go for the various, very tempting, massages, which add up to the cost of the basic ticket.
Don't get me wrong. If you have the means and the will, you can get the very same treatment and more in the Metropolis. But you can't get the thermal waters and the sheer experience of bathing there. If you then happen to be in Bath during an extraordinarily hot summer, as we are experiencing at the moment, there is something quite surreal about it. I walk around and I am not really sure where I am.
Yesterday evening I asked my bemused landlady if she could please put some ice in my water jug - I never take ice in water, it is an exceptional occurrence.
I treated myself to the spa this morning, today was our opening night after all. I was in my element, completely. Loved the steam bath, loved the jacuzzi, loved the roof top pool. I could live like this all the time, getting up early, going for training, going to the spa, eating healthy but light food.
Happiness is a thermal spring.
(Photo by Korrigan modelled by Alex B)