Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 8/9/10: Bath/London ... and back to Montreal

**This is a series of post that I am putting up from notebook entries during my trip to England in the first 10 days of December

The last few days involved a lot of travel from Oxford to Bath, from Bath to London. And from London back home.

Bath, the site of a beautiful Abbey and an excellently-preserved and presented Roman Baths, rubbed me the wrong way at first, seeming overly touristed and busy. But by the end of the day I had been charmed yet again by the Georgian architecture and vaulted ceilings. I even went for a swim in thermal baths housed in a converted Celtic place of ritual.

The best moment came when I was walking home from a delicious Thai dinner and wandered into a Carol Service full of students from the University of Bath at the Bath Abbey. The Abbey resounded with Christmas cheer. A nice surprise.

My last half day in London, I tied up loose ends by visiting the places I should have before but hadn't. The small yet elegant Serpentine presented their first ever design show in sparse style. And I sort of did a quick run around the British Museum, an empire-overloaded art complex complete with Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles.

By the end of the trip, I have to say I was a little knackered and ready to head home (shortly thereafter I fell ill with a headcold). But I had been duly enchanted. I am convinced that I would be thrilled to end up at the Courtauld Institute and in London for a Master's in Art History -- it only seems right given the Institute's shining reputation and the city's overwhelming amounts of art for free all over the place. An elegant city, a bustling metropolis, with an accented soundtrack I could listen to for days, London has won me over, it is fair to say. So it was so long for now, not forever, because I will surely be back.

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