St. Alban’s, England
This past Tuesday, January 24 we visited St. Albans where we toured St. Albans Cathedral, Verulamium Museum. The museum was filled with intricately designed tiled mosaics that were hand-crafted for people of wealth during the Roman occupation of Great Britain. The layout was designed to be like a walk in the life of someone during this time. We had to leave this museum and come back about an hour later. It seems like everywhere we go there is a school field trip going on and the kids are in our way. St. Albans Cathedral was decked with stone architecture and sculptures that, for their time (circa the 4th Century), is quite remarkable. The craftsmanship of the church and sculptures alike is breath-taking, and the building is massive. We also toured the remaining infrastructure of what was a theatre and townhomes during the 4th century.
We visited Bath Thursday, January 26 and toured a museum built around the preserved baths of Roman-Britain. The “spa” we visited acted as both a meeting place and a shrine to the gods the Romans worshiped. In addition to the bath pools there are sculptures that have remained that prove the close relationship to religion and politics during that era.
More exciting than that we actually got the chance to bathe in a model bath. The pool was obviously not one of the original baths; however we did swim in the same mineral water. The spring that would fill the pools then, is the same one that fills them now. It is 116 degrees when it leaves the spring and by the time it is filtered, and in the pool it is 94. There was a fountain there outside the pool that ran water that was 10,000 years old. Each time you touch the fountain, you are the first person to touch that water in 10,000 years. “There are 43 minerals in the water…the mineral content is 2.18 grammes per litre” (These facts courtesy of our tour guides and this pamphlet). It was truly a good time.
We also got the chance to drink some of this mineral water, which they sell for like £1—the lady gave it to us for free. It was gross. It was warm and tasted like a rock was at the bottom of the glass. My friend described the taste as “kind of like biting your tongue or tasting blood.” It had an iron taste, but it is supposed to be good for you. Stupidly we downed it, finishing it very quickly. We had to go to the bathroom afterwards, LOL.
The British Museum
The British Museum is only like two blocks from our house, literally in our backyard if you’re looking at a map. This by far is the best museum I have ever been to. We saw only a little, because we were there to view a certain room of artifacts, but its massive. You would need well over a week to see everything. The British Museum has so many ancient remains and is currently in the middle of a controversial argument that debates whether they have the rights to certain artifacts. The dispute is about whether they should leave the remains where they were originally nested and built. The Museum’s defense is that the objects will get much more exposure at such a centrally located