Tigger left at 7:20, leaving me to follow on later. I had checked train times and was aiming to catch the 9:30 Bristol train from Paddington.
There are two good ways to travel to Paddington from Angel. You can go to Kings Cross by bus or tube or on foot, and take a Hammersmith or Circle Line train to Paddington, or you can take the 205 bus all the way. The tube is quicker, taking about 35 minutes on a good day, but the trains and the stations are often uncomfortably crowded at this time of day. The bus, on the other hand, takes a little longer and can also be subjected to delays and diversions.
I left the house just after 8:00 and took the bus as I had plenty of time. I was going to say that on the bus you can at least look out of the window and see something more interesting than tunnel walls but on a day like today, the windows are likely to be steamed up, so it comes to the same thing.
A text from Tigger tells me her train left on time. The question now is: who will arrive at Bath first?
I left the bus at the back entrance of Paddington station, at what we call Fag Alley, the slip road where the smokers gather.
Paddington is not my favourite station. It always has a mournful, grubby look to it, especially on a dull day like today. It divides into three sections, the platforms, the enclosed area for shops and cafes and, in between, the main concourse.
I filled in some time by browsing in Smiths and then doing a circuit of the station. As soon as the platform for my train was announced I boarded and found a seat.
The train left on time and we are now speeding through the rain-swept countryside under a thick layer of dull grey cloud.
At 10:42 Tigger texted to say the job was done. We were then about 20 minutes away from Bath. On arrival I will try to find some snug place to wait for her to join me.
At Bath, the vague hopes of an improvement in the weather encouraged by patches of brightness during the journey, were dashed as it was raining hard. Across the road from the station is the Tea Time cafe and this seemed a good place to wait for Tigger’s arrival.
Tigger arrived after only a few minutes and we caught up with one another’s adventures over coffee. After this, we set out to explore the town and look for lunch.
Lunch was to be had at the Jamuna Indian restaurant. Perhaps because it was early, we were the only customers.
We visited the Guildhall Market where I was happy to discover a purveyor of fine teas and coffees, Gillards, an old established firm, as I was running a little low on Russian Caravan tea. Here, I was able to stock up!
We walked through The Corridor, an arcade built in 1825, already partly decorated for Christmas, though I suspect it is only a shadow of its former glory.
The Roman Baths are of course justly famous and a tourist attraction. We didn’t visit them today but they are certainly on the list for another visit. I did, however, take a quick photo over the wall! (See top image.)
It had rained on and off throughout our visit and the conditions had been cold and chilly. Around 2 pm we decided to call it a day and to progress slowly towards the station.
At the station there is an Upper Crust cafe with a large window with its base at floor level. We saw that there was a pigeon behind the glass inside the cafe, apparently trying to get out.
I went inside where several people were standing around watching it and asked “Is it trapped?”
The only answer I received was “We can’t get it out…”
I cornered the pigeon, picked it up, took it to the door, and released it. This seemed the obvious thing to do.
Tigger had remained outside and saw the pigeon emerge like the proverbial bat out of hell. I just hope it is sensible enough not to go in there again.
After less than half an hour we had a train for London. As we travel Londonwards, the sky is as dull and cloudy as this morning and rain streaks the windows.
Bath is a pleasant town with many beautiful old buildings made of the characteristic light-coloured stone. Efforts have been made to avoid clashes between the old and the new. For example, the well known high street shops and businesses have swapped their colourful logos for more sober versions, more in keeping with local style. It would obviously better to visit this town in bright sunny weather and we will no doubt do so but even on a grey day there are beautiful sights and scenes to enjoy.