Tuesday, 10 November 2015

영국여행 | England (Day 5)

Bovril. File under: Things I really, really miss.
Day 5 saw me have breakfast at my grandparents' house (quite possibly the only place in the world where I have proper, normal breakfasts sat at a table without a rush.) before going out with my parents to do some sightseeing.

Before we filled up our schedules, Nick and I had been planning on visiting loads of places in the UK that we'd never been to before. Mainly inspired by the fact we've not really been to that many places in South Korea, but many Koreans often comment on how we've been to more places than them, or people they know. We made a plan to be a bit more of a tourist in our own country and see some of the places we always hear about but never actually bother visiting because "it's only down the road" or something like that.

We ended up going to a tiny little village just next to mine called Castle Combe. Despite it being very, very small and I think entirely composed of grade-listed buildings, it's reasonably famous due to it being a filming location for a lot of films and TV shows.

The main reason for this is probably the fact that it's remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years. From the main roads, which are mostly single-lane, you can't see anything that would look out of place in a period drama. No house alarm boxes, no phone lines or antenna, satellite dishes or modern electric streetlights.

I think the most famous productions that have been filmed here are Stardust and War Horse, and the pub we stopped by even had production stills framed on the corridor walls.

There was also one little house by the main village square that had an honesty box cake shop outside the front door. The sort of thing you only really see in deep countryside places like this, these days.

Simple enough, you choose the cake you want (lemon drizzle, chocolate fudge, carrot and cream cheese, waaaah) which are all stickered with their price, and you put the money through the letterbox. There's also a hook full of paper bags if you decide to pick up a few, like I did.

The sign above the door said they'd catered to the film crews that had visited, so I had high enough hopes and big enough cravings for a proper homemade cake that I bought a couple of slices. I wasn't at all disappointed!

We stopped by the pub to get some lunch, but were a couple of minutes too late for the actual lunch menu, so we went for cake and drinks in the sun. Pimms o'clock it is!

We then headed into Bristol to pick up Nick and headed to Bath for a trip around all the usual spots. I love Bath and visited several times, but not enough for my liking.

We went to the Roman Baths museum, which I hadn't been to for a LONG time, to the point that I didn't actually have any memory of what was inside other than the main bath pool itself.

One of the best parts, in my opinion, was the lady in the picture below, dressed as a Roman noble. I don't know if she was staff, or just a history buff, or a drama student, or a mixture of the lot. Thinking about it, it was a bit odd that they didn't have more staff like her to make the experience a bit more engaging. Presumably it's a bit expensive.

I really wish more places had actors like this though. She was sat by the pool with a range of Ancient Roman cosmetics, and you could just ask her questions about everything. What everything was, how she used it, where she got it from. She told us the latest trends and the pros and cons of the various ingredients. All in character. It was really easy to get into the swing of things and forget you're not really talking to a primary source. She was really funny, too! By far one of the more memorable and interesting parts of the visit!

How the baths would have looked when they were newer.
After visiting all the different bathing chambers and learning about them with the audio guide, the rest of the building is more like a standard museum, holding all sorts of artefacts they'd found through excavations of the local area. Really interesting how this kind of building would have been like church, community centre, spa, and gym all bundled into one place.

I particularly liked the curses.

We also drank the infamous spa water, which I don't remember being free when I was younger (I distinctly remember drinking a glassful in the Pump Room at about age 7 and being horrified that my parents had paid money for something so disgusting, but that was probably also my opinion of wine at the time)

The fountain was very simple, and surrounded by quotes people have famously given about the water at the Baths. I'd definitely recommend you try it, but SPOILER: It's still disgusting.
Presumably it's disgusting because of all the cool minerals and good stuff in the water, the full list of which you can see in the picture above. It's meant to be unbelievably good for you. It had better be, because I can't really think of any other reason to drink it than medicinal purposes :p

An incredibly accurate description of the flavour.

We met up with my parents and went to a restaurant they recommended which apparently sold Jamaican food, which is something I'd never tried before! I'm sure, being a chain, it's not the most authentic stuff you could buy but it was great either way and I'd be well up for trying something more 'real'. If it is pretty true to life, then good job, haha.

We finished up with a trip to the Royal Circle because I really, really wanted to see it again, but I kind of forgot how dark it would be, so I don't have any photos. So really this is just an excuse for me to show you my highlight w/e.

There was a man that came to his upstairs window to stare at us judgingly, but what do you expect when you live in the centre of a hugely famous tourist spot and have the living room lights on but don't even bother installing curtains?! Not even "he hadn't closed them at 9pm". There weren't ANY! Who does that?! Anyway. Digression. Here's our selfies:

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