Saturday, June 28, 2008

More Buses

Yesterday was another bus tour: Stonehenge, Salsbury Cathedral & the Roman Baths at Bath. It was great to see all those places, but again it felt (inevitably) rushed. Also, I'm not sure I'd use this company again: they overbooked the tour and 4 people got left at the curb. Ouch. (Gray Line Tours)

Still, it was great to see all these places, and not to have to drive or rent a car. A couple neat (if trivial) points: Re: The Magna Carta. Those scribes were amazing. Working with quill & ink, the guy who copied out the document was writing in 6 or 8 point font, making perfectly formed letters. It's a long document, and not an excessively large sheet of vellum. He also basically perfectly justified the edges. Frankly, it's hard to make that sort of thing look good using Microsoft, much less doing it by hand. I doff my cap to that anonymous scribe.

Also, a nice feature on the audio tour at the Roman Baths: They have commentary by Bill Bryson, one of my favorite non-fiction authors. He helps give some perspective the sights you see, giving some context and generally encouraging you to go "Ohhh, Ahhhh" I appreciated his bits more than the official ones, frankly. And I can't help but agree with him: especially on a slightly drizzly day, I just wish I could have actually taken a lounge in the pleasantly warm Baths.

Today is Central London day - we're going to be off to St. Paul's, then some wandering as the whim strikes us, culminating in seeing "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at the reconstructed Globe Theatre. Tomorrow it should be off to Oxford to spend a day with the esteemed Niall Harrison of Strange Horizons and Torque Control fame.

We've got 4 more days here including today; we fly back on Wednesday. I have to say that I'm starting to hit the point where I long for my own bed and to see our dogs again, but I'm also glad that we've got the time to do so much. Hopefully 2 weeks will turn out to be the right balance.


Cheryl said...

Glad you made it out here and back again. They do have a proper beauty spa in Bath again at last. I've been itching for an excuse to go and try it. Maybe on your next trip.

Karen Burnham said...

Cheryl - I saw that! One iteration of our vacation plans had us going to that resort/spa after hiking Hadrian's wall, then take the train in to London. That was back when the Masterclass was in Dublin, we lived in LA and we were both working. Even then it was a bit of a wistful wish, though--that place is insanely expensive! Someday though...someday.