Liberty Adventures: Discovering the City of Bath
By Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 20, 2011
BATH, England -- In the spring of 1942, incendiary and high explosive bombs fell over the City of Bath as Germany unleashed its revenge for earlier bombing raids by the Royal Air Force on Lubeck and Rostock, which destroyed a number of historical buildings.
The city had been targeted, because of its beauty - literally picked straight out of a tourist's guide to Britain.
On April 16, 2011, the City of Bath was once again selected for its beauty, but this time by Liberty Warriors on an RAF Lakenheath Information, Tickets and Travel city break and walking tour.
According to Felicity Medcalf, one of the two Blue Badge Guides leading the walking tour, the best way to see the many attractions of Bath is on foot.
"You can see much more (on a walking tour) than you can on a coach," she said. "You can appreciate the architecture a lot more and hear a lot more of the history - you get the feel of Bath so much more.
"It is a beautiful city (with) so much to see," she added noting the variety of attractions Bath has to offer.
Amongst attractions such as the Royal Crescent, the Circus, the Fashion Museum, the Pulteney Bridge, the Jane Austen Centre, Bath Abbey and the Victoria Art Gallery, the most popular is the Roman Baths.
The Roman Baths are a preserved Roman sacred site. The Celts built the first shrine at the hot springs, and dedicated it to the goddess Sulis. After the Roman invasion, the Romans identified Sulis with the Roman goddess Minerva, which led to the town's ancient Roman name of Aquae Sulis or waters of Sulis.
After the Roman withdrawal the Roman Baths fell into disrepair and were lost due to silt deposits. It was rediscovered and excavated during the 18th century. Today the site consists of the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman bath house and artifacts from the Roman Bath.
"It (Bath) was awesome - everything from the walking tour through the city," said Vanneca Phelps, 3rd Air Force chief of protocol, RAF Mildenhall, noting that she particularly enjoyed tasting the mineral water from the Roman Bath. "(Its) beautiful ... everything looks like a picture."
The RAF Lakenheath ITT offers city breaks and guided walking tours to Bath and York. The next trip to Bath is May 14, and the next trip to York is June 25.
For more information about travel opportunities, call the RAF Lakenheath ITT office at commercial 01638 522 979 or DSN 226-2979 or visit their website at www.ittlakenheath.com.
(Editor's note: No federal endorsement is intended or implied concerning places of interest covered by the 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs.)