Friday 20 May 2011

Bath, England

I decided to take small detour to Bath on my way to London and it has been well worth it. In addition to the wonderful sights that I was able to experience, I also had my very first “youth hostel” experience. I stayed at St Christopher’s Inn which is a chain of hostels scattered over Europe. I thought it was quite nice, yet my roommates advised that it was one of their least favourites (I guess that bodes well for the future!!)

View of room ( 6bed dorm) and desk area

I knew that I was staying in a youth hostel when I ventured into the bathroom to find this unusual vending machine ....

I spent the main part of the day on a free walking tour of Bath (provided by the Mayor’s office), followed by some sightseeing (including the Roman Baths) and window-shopping. Bath is gorgeous to walk around and the shopping is great – unfortunately for me I have limited room for new purchases which is a big downside to backpacking when you love to shop!

Outside the Bath Abbey

Overlooking the riverwalk

Inside the Roman Baths

There were no grand culinary adventures today however I was able to frequent my favourite English contribution to fast food: Pret a Manger. For only a few quid, I had a thai crawfish noodle salad, fruit and their famous banana cake.

In the afternoon, I headed to the train station and have arrived in London. I am staying with my cousin Audrey before heading to Paris on Sunday.

I have also commenced some "planning ahead" and have commenced booking for San Sebastian which is one of the parts of the trip I am most excited about. San Sebastian is the culinary centre of Spain (and some regard it as the centre of Europe). It has 15 Michelin stars in a town of 80,000 people (compared to London's 34 stars with a population of c8mil). Needless to say, I plan to eat very well (and expend considerable chucks of my budget in the one town). I have secured reservations at Azrak and Akelarre and am waiting on confirmation from my other “must-do” eating experience on this trip, Etxebarri , which is about one hour’s drive out of town.

I am gritting my teeth as I type this as it pains me to admit it but.....Dean, you were right. Having a manual car licence is a good thing “in case of emergencies”. Whilst potentially being unable to eat at one of the greatest restaurants in the world is not an “emergency”, it does present an issue. It appears that the only cars available to hire are manuals (or BMWs for $300 for 8 hours which is all I need). Hopefully I can locate a taxi driver who’s willing to bargain for the day as I doubt I’m going to find any other backpackers willing to drive and spend about two weeks food budget on one meal.

1 comment:

  1. HI Emily

    There is a bus for San Sebastian to Durango, that gets you close - its only 7 euro it seems - timing may be tricky but you will only be a quarter of an hour's taxi ride away from Etxebarri



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