A Travellerspoint blog

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Taking a Bath

Following the Romans


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2002 An English Narrowboat Holliday & 2002 Heart Attack at Shroud Key & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

After we left London, we were based in Cheltenham where our daughter was living on a 3 year job exchange.
House our daughter leases

House our daughter leases


Her house is a listed house which means that it can't be changed without permission.
654722-House_our_daughter_leases_Bath.jpgListed house

Listed house

large_24810FA8F1FF2F4515CBC622E0D5CB31.jpg
2892638-Front_door_from_outside_Cheltenham.jpgFront door -outside and Inside

Front door -outside and Inside

front parlour window

front parlour window


zImage010.jpgfireplaces

fireplaces


2481F2BFC028BF8A484811BCD517ADE2.jpgTV room

TV room

kitchen

kitchen


The central window over the entrance door was blocked off many years ago to avoid a window tax. It gives the house a boarded up look.
Cheltenham house facade

Cheltenham house facade


The house has been used as a B&B and an old folks home. It has 5 bedrooms and 3 baths on the floor above the ground floor (we would call it the 2nd floor - the English call it the 1st floor).
Our bedroom window which looked out on the street

Our bedroom window which looked out on the street


24825F2EB0C49039A2F70B96EE205B6D.jpgdaughter's bedroom

daughter's bedroom

which looked out on the back garden

which looked out on the back garden


2892683-Back_garden_Cheltenham.jpgBack garden

Back garden

July 23rd, 2002 - A Rainy Day in Bath

Bath was a place I wanted to visit because I was intrigued by the photos that were taken of it by my mother on a bus tour of England with my second daughter. It was a place that we hadn't visited in 1950.

We (Bob and I and our grandson) got a late start on the first really rainy day we've had (and it was just a drizzly type rain) - Bob drove our daughter's Rover to Bath. He did have some problem with trying to shift with his right hand and hitting the door instead. I was antsy about how close he was to the left-hand side of the road. And in fact he did hit a curb pretty hard, but he said that he was avoiding a cyclist.

Our daughter had told him the way to go and we had maps - both a big book map and a map of Gloucester and Cheltenham where our daughter lived. Getting to Bath was OK (we went through a town called Pennsylvania), but we didn't realize how far out the Park & Rides were so we ended up in the middle of Bath which is not where I wanted to be. I had intended to park out at the North Parade. Somehow we missed this. I think at some point we drove through the Royal Crescent. It was hard to find where we were on the map, and watch Bob's driving to keep him from going the wrong way down a one way street or something.
Streets of Bath

Streets of Bath


Bob insisted on following the signs to the long term car park lot (£3.80 until 6 pm), and after he and our grandson used the bathroom, he took a short cut out of the lot on foot. We ended up getting thoroughly lost (even after asking directions at a store - I asked the wrong question - I asked what the name of the street was, and not which way we should go on it) and walked in the wrong direction, ending up a Victoria Park,
Victoria Park playground

Victoria Park playground


which has a big playground for kids. Our grandson stopped and had a few minutes to play while I used the bathroom and found out that we were on our way out of Bath on foot and got directions for the bus from some of the mothers who had their children there.

We took a bus back in (£2.40 for the three of us) which let us off downtown near the railway station, and then by default had lunch at McDonalds £7.29 because it was too late (and we were too lost) to try for anything else.
Downtown Bath

Downtown Bath


We got to the baths and admission was £18.60 ($29.29 - two seniors and child). We had a good time listening to the recorded tour. It was somewhat confusing though, because the numbers were not consecutive. It started with 1 and then went to 16, and there was no #2. We didn't wait for the free guided tour. There were so many people we probably couldn't have gotten close enough to hear it anyway.
Statues on roofline

Statues on roofline


Looking down into the Baths

Looking down into the Baths


We heard all about Sulis Minerva, and saw the various baths, and our grandson touched the water.
654725-Baths_Bath.jpgListening to the tour

Listening to the tour


The Baths were packed with people. I took a few pictures, but not many because there were so many people there. One lady (apparently not a primary English language person) asked me what a glove was. I had one in my pocket which I showed her.
65956_03.jpgPump Room

Pump Room


When we finished, we went to the Pump Room, but it was full and we didn't want to pay to drink the waters. I heard later that the service was terrible there. Our grandson wanted to buy a souvenir (he knew exactly where the shop was), so after we did that, we went out and wandered around in Bath until we got directions from a bus driver (He said, "You don't want to take THIS bus.") to walk back up past Queen Square to our car park.

I had wanted to go to Sally Lunds and maybe the costume museum, but once we found the car park I thought it would be better to leave. We wanted to get back before rush hour at 1700 (and we did). We did manage to find our daughter's house, and park.
Son-in-law's car in driveway

Son-in-law's car in driveway


They park the Toyota in the driveway, and the Rover has to make do on the street. Since there is no parking in front of her house, it is parked up a side street across the street

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:53 Archived in England Tagged boat canal cheltenham pontcysyllte_aqueduct iron_bridge national_waterways_museum Comments (0)

Heading for Wales to See the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Dizzying Heights


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2002 An English Narrowboat Holliday & 2002 Heart Attack at Shroud Key & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

July 24th, 2002

I had never been to Wales, and was anxious to go there. I also wanted to see the famous aqueduct. So our daughter took a day off work and we took the Toyota (the American car as the Rover isn't reliable over long distances) to drive to Wales, accomplishing TWO goals - one to go to Wales, and one to see the big famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct up there. It was a long drive. There was considerable construction around Birmingham. We had left at a leisurely time i.e. after 0800 in order to avoid the rush hour in Birmingham, and were successful in doing that. We got to Llangollen about noon and parked (80p for 4 hours)
Shop near the parking area

Shop near the parking area


All the signs are both in Welsh and English of course.
No Fouling sign in English and Welsh

No Fouling sign in English and Welsh


Bull Inn and 'Stabling'

Bull Inn and 'Stabling'


Looking up main street from bridge

Looking up main street from bridge


The bridge in Llangollen has those cutouts (angles that extend out from the bridge) for people to stand in out of the way so they don't get trampled while carriages, stagecoaches or the hunt goes over the bridge.
Standing in the bridge cutout

Standing in the bridge cutout


We had lunch at a little place over looking the river called the River View Bistro.
Entrance to lunch place on right

Entrance to lunch place on right

River View Bistro

River View Bistro

My grandson at lunch

My grandson at lunch


My lunch

My lunch


The waitress had to run up and down the stairs, as the kitchen was on a lower level. The river Dee is full of rocks and rapids.
4447174-River_Dee_Llangollen.jpgLooking downstream - River Dee

Looking downstream - River Dee


The canal was uphill from the town past the railway station. We tried to shop some on that side, but the stores were closed. So rather than huff and puff our way up the hill to the canal, we walked back across the bridge and back to the parking lot.
Looking up the hill toward the terminal

Looking up the hill toward the terminal

Railroad station from across the river

Railroad station from across the river


Our daughter got her husband a mug for his collection. I also got a Welsh love spoon and explanatory booklet for a wedding present for my niece. (She got married on the 27th. We couldn't go because she didn't decide on the wedding date until after we'd booked our plane tickets.)

You can get barge trips up to the Aqueduct from Llangollen, but we decided to just drive up to the canal and walk across as we were hiring a canal boat at the weekend. (Quoting from the literature: "Two hour trips ..to carry your through the beautiful Vale of Llangollen and across the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct built by Thomas Telford between 1793 and 1806. The country's biggest aqueduct towers a massive 126 ft (38 m) above the River Dee supported by 18 stone piers. The canal runs through an iron trough 1007 ft long, 11ft 10 inches wide and 5 ft 3 inches deep.
.Live commentary from your cheeky "Captain".. A fully stocked bar provides something to steady the nerves..Price Adult £7, Child £6
")
We drove off in pursuit of the Aqueduct. We couldn't drive to the town on the other side [Trevor] because they were working on the highway bridge (stone bridge) on the road that went to it, so we went to the east end and parked.
Inn along the road near the canal

Inn along the road near the canal

Canal building

Canal building

View from the road going up to the parking place

View from the road going up to the parking place


Auto and pedestrian bridges

Auto and pedestrian bridges


693784-Bridges_Trevor.jpgRaising the road bridge

Raising the road bridge


Boat going under a road bridge

Boat going under a road bridge


Boat coming to turning basin

Boat coming to turning basin

Bob and our daughter leaving the turning basin

Bob and our daughter leaving the turning basin


Private Canal Boat  with wind generator

Private Canal Boat with wind generator


Ducks waiting to be fed in canal

Ducks waiting to be fed in canal


The Pontcysyllte aqueduct must be one of the most spectacular in Britain. The canal is fed from the River Dee at the Horseshoe Falls just out of Llangollen and the Dee runs under the aqueduct. The famous engineer, Thomas Telford, built Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Llangollen in 1795. Today, it is a protected Grade I listed building, a Welsh National Monument and is one of the seven wonders of the British Inland Waterways System.
Aqueduct from the side

Aqueduct from the side

I wanted to hire a narrowboat for a week and do this canal, but could not due to time constraints. I had only a long weekend that that's not enough time to get from the hire station to the aqueduct and back. So I settled for driving up in a car and walking across. I understand that you can hire a boat for the day for up to 12 people at 2 local Marinas to travel on this canal.
Warning Sign at the entrance to the towpath

Warning Sign at the entrance to the towpath


The aqueduct with canal boat at the end

The aqueduct with canal boat at the end


Looking back -Man and dog walking along the canal path

Looking back -Man and dog walking along the canal path

Bob and our daughter as boat passes

Bob and our daughter as boat passes


We walked across the aqueduct, our grandson actually was invited to hop on one of the boats and he rode part of the way. There is about 5 inches or so water on each side of the boats going across. The aqueduct is 125 feet in the air and the water trough is only about 7 feet wide and 5.3 feet deep. The height apparently concerns some people but not others. I saw a man standing on the roof of the canal boat taking pictures. I saw one lady with a toddler asleep in a sling across her chest, walking fast along the aqueduct with a camera in her hand, while her husband drove the canal boat and red headed twin girls played in the front. Presumably she was going ahead to take photos
Mom of the twins with baby running ahead

Mom of the twins with baby running ahead


Canal boat in aqueduct

Canal boat in aqueduct


Twins on the bow of a narrow boat

Twins on the bow of a narrow boat

In order to get some Idea of how far up you are, - look down
66381587693804-Looking_up_th..nal_Trevor.jpgA long way down

A long way down


River Dee - note a child's tricycle in lower left corner

River Dee - note a child's tricycle in lower left corner


Sewage treatment plant from above

Sewage treatment plant from above


But you also get good views looking out
49530834693838-Downstream_to..uct_Trevor.jpgRoad bridge from the aqueduct

Road bridge from the aqueduct


231284544447190-View_of_the_..Llangollen.jpgView from the Top

View from the Top


Sheep grazing

Sheep grazing

Railroad viaduct in the distance

Railroad viaduct in the distance


There were a lot of canal boats coming across the aqueduct as there is a mooring area there at Trevor where people spend the night. They have the option to either cook on their boat, or go to the local pub for a meal.
Trevor basin

Trevor basin


Canal boat in the turning basin turns to go back

Canal boat in the turning basin turns to go back


I started to walk back. The others went to the bathroom and then crossed the aqueduct (walking path only on one side), and went under the aqueduct and came back up on the side of the canal where the car was parked.
2461798-Pontcysyllte_Aqueduct_Trevor.jpg
So suddenly I was walking on one side, and there they were on the other side. After we got back to the car, we drove down to the football field that we'd seen from the top, It is so big that it is hard to take a photo that gives an idea of the size - even from a distance I couldn't get both ends in the same photo
Aqueduct from the ground -person walking across

Aqueduct from the ground -person walking across

693858-From_soccer_field_Trevor.jpgAqueduct from the soccer field

Aqueduct from the soccer field


and I walked down to the little stone bridge, and I talked to the bridge workers and took some pictures.
Aqueduct from road bridge

Aqueduct from road bridge


4447187-Work_on_road_bridge_Llangollen.jpgRoad bridge construction site

Road bridge construction site


89043062693861-Looking_up_th..dge_Trevor.jpg

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:48 Archived in Wales Tagged pontcysyllte_aqueduct Comments (4)

Preparing for the Narrow Boat Cruise

And visiting an Iron Bridge


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2002 An English Narrowboat Holliday & 2002 Heart Attack at Shroud Key & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Cooling towers?

Cooling towers?


On the way up to Llangollen, our daughter noticed the signs to Ironbridge, and thought if there was time we'd come back that way. And there was, and we did. Ironbridge is a town and has in it a bridge made of iron. The bridge is a National Historic Landmark.
Shops on the square

Shops on the square


Directional sign at the end of the bridge

Directional sign at the end of the bridge


Iron Bridge from downstream

Iron Bridge from downstream


This bridge was built with cast iron after a nearby smelter made it an economically feasible material to use. I would not have thought iron was a good material to use in a wet location because of the possibility of rusting, and in fact vehicle traffic is now prohibited on the bridge. But you can walk across to the other side, and there are views up and down the river from the bridge. The Iron Bridge itself is a public access monument
One end of the bridge

One end of the bridge


Looking through the railings

Looking through the railings

4436452-Houses_Ironbridge.jpgLooking down the river

Looking down the river


Iron Bridge from upstream

Iron Bridge from upstream


Path beside the river

Path beside the river

Bob by the wall

Bob by the wall


There are no eye witness accounts are known which describe the Iron Bridge being erected, so the method is a bit of a mystery. After you've taken pictures from a distance, then go and look at it close up from underneath to appreciate how it might have been constructed.
222317854436432-Looking_down..Ironbridge.jpgViewing area from above

Viewing area from above


Bob, daughter and grandson walking down

Bob, daughter and grandson walking down

Looking down on daughter and husband

Looking down on daughter and husband

Looking down on the path

Looking down on the path


Museum of the Gorge is on the other side of the bridge. We did not get to visit this museum as we got to Ironbridge right about 5 pm. The website says that the secrets of how and why the bridge was built "are revealed in an exhibition housed in the original Tollhouse on the south side of the Bridge." The Tollhouse is open 10am - 5pm and is ***FREE***
Toll House from across the bridge

Toll House from across the bridge


There are other museums in the Ironbridge area. The Passport Ticket allows repeat daytime access to all 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museums, during normal opening hours, so you can return as often as you like for one year. If after 12 months you have still not visited particular sites, you can return at any time in the future to make one free visit to the sites that you've missed.

The church in Ironbridge is one of the "Waterloo Church" type and it was built in 1835/6 using funds from the Church Building Act 1818.
St. Luke's Church

St. Luke's Church


The tower has a three dial clock, which was made by W. Davies of Shifnal. The architectural style is simple Commissioners' Gothic. The church is oriented in a direction that is the reverse of the most churches with the sanctuary at the west end and the tower at the east end. This is because the land at the west end would not bear the weight of a tower. The living was endowed as a rectory when the parish was created from Madeley in 1847 and is now a united with Coalbrookdale. It is in the Diocese of Hereford which is a Church of England diocese based in Hereford, covering Herefordshire, southern Shropshire and a few parishes within Worcestershire in England; and a few parishes within Powys and Monmouthshire in Wales.
War Memorial

War Memorial


Shrewsbury Chronicle 25th January 1924.
The War memorial has been erected in the market square this week. It is a bronze life-size figure of a soldier in mourning attitude on a pedestal of Cornish granite 8ft. high. It is fenced with Iron pillars and an ornamental chain.
Two bronze tablets are erected one bearing the inscription:
In grateful and undying memory of the valiant men of Ironbridge, who laid down their lives in the Great War 1914-1918. We thank God for every remembrance of you.

The other bronze tablet bears the names of the fallen...
The sculptor for the memorial was, Mr. Arthur G. Walker.
The monument was moved to the other side of the road, to provide a bus bay, this upset many local people. Local folk lore says:
” In the square he was looking towards the railway station to see his pals returning”.
”He was looking towards his beloved river Severn

Parking sign

Parking sign


We got there late in the day - so late that we didn't have to pay for parking- the meter refused all our money. Our daughter called our son-in-law about 1700 from the parking lot to say we were about 2 hours from home. After we walked around a little, we decided to eat there at the Iron Bridge Tea Rooms.
Tea Rooms at dusk

Tea Rooms at dusk


The downstairs room seemed full so we went upstairs - this was another place where the waitresses really had to run up and down the stairs. We were one of the last ones there, leaving at 18:43 I think that it is mostly for lunches. I had a cottage pie, Bob and our daughter had a steak and ale pie and our grandson had a children's meal. I had bread and butter pudding for dessert, Bob had an ice cream sundae, and our daughter had coffee. We brought dinner home for our SIL. This meal was £33.74 including a tip of £3.50 ($48.11 without the tip for the 5 of us, which I thought was extremely reasonable.)

July 25th, 2002

Our daughter walked in to work again (as she did on Tuesday because the buses don't run that early in the a.m.), and we took the car and went to the Gloucester Waterway Museum with our grandson. The museum is one of our grandson's favorites (he is 8 years old), and we also thought it would be good preparation for the narrowboat trip we were taking starting on the next day. Our daughter gave us directions for the Shop Mobility place where we could have parked free (my mother used it), but I didn't feel as disabled as that. So we paid £3.00 for parking. We left late because I was writing up our previous days for the home folks

We got to our goal (the National Waterways Museum) about noon after getting lost a couple of times. I was still very nervous about how close Bob was to the left (he was driving the Rover which is RHD), but I think it was pretty much unnecessary - I was just nervous. He did hit another curb, but managed to miss a child of about 3 who jumped out into the street in front of him, causing the mother to yell (loud enough that I could hear her) "You stupid child.. " etc. I would have said she was the stupid one to let a toddler that age be close enough to the road when her mom was far enough away for that to happen.
792167-Thursday_July_25_Gloucester.jpgNational Waterway Museum

National Waterway Museum


After we parked, I saw a huge gaggle of middle school kids about ready to go into the museum, so we stopped and ate lunch at the museum shop first. Our grandson had a milkshake (which is a bottled drink and not ice cream) and chips, I had tea (85p), quiche and a jacket potato, and Bob had a tuna sandwich and Sprite (lemonade). The bill was £8.55 ($13.60). Then we went to the museum £12 for 2 seniors and one child.

We did all the interactive things. This included investing in a canal company (I lost all my money), designing a canal (I did this with my grandson - the first time we did it the computer came back and said something to the effect of "I can't believe that they are allowing you to be in charge of this project - you need to go back and work under an engineer as an apprentice", working a lock (on the computer) by doing things in the correct sequence, and designing your own canal boat. Our grandson also had a list of things to look for and write down the answers to questions about them, which he turned in at the gift shop to be eligible for a drawing. It was sponsored by a chocolate company.
Grandson marking his answer sheet

Grandson marking his answer sheet


There were also exhibits on the canal navvies (some boys went to work as young as 8 - the same age as our grandson), cargos, a speeon dredger, a coal hoist, a lock gate (a real one - unfortunately so dark that it was hard to take a picture of it, information about leggers (when the canal boats couldn't be pulled by the horses through tunnels, the men lay on their backs and walked the boat through - was called legging), and a painted ware gallery (something like Pennsylvania Dutch work). There were also cruises available, but we didn't take one. After we got home (we are getting better at finding our way back to the house), Bob walked up to the store.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 09:52 Archived in England Comments (2)

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