Bask in the Roman Baths

When you are in Bath, bathe as the Romans do.

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The Roman Baths complex is a historical site preserved in the city of Bath.

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The bath complex was built in 75 AD when the Romans conquered Britain.

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Algal bloom has painted the Great Bath green.

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The Great Bath was fed by water from surrounding hot spring, thought to be divine and sacred by the Romans.

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The hot water in the spring rises at a rate of 1,170,000 liters each day at 46 degrees Celcius.

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Bathing was part and parcel of Roman life and culture. It was a communal and recreational activity where the people would gather to socialize and relax at the bath complex.

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The Roman Baths, with a view of Bath Abbey next door.

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When you are here, imagine a pool of people mingling with loud chatter in the air and splashes of water here and there- that was the ancient Roman way of bathing.

 

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Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a famous megalithic monument that was constructed during Neolithic period more than 4000 years ago. It is located at a chalky plain near the city of Salisbury, England.

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At the stone circle, you will see a display of the largest stones which form the external wall. They are known as sarsens which stand up to 30 feet in height. It is believed that they were transported from Marlborough Dows, 20 miles to the north.

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The smaller stones-bluestones were brought from several different sites in Western Wales, with distance as far as 140 miles.

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It is bewildering to think of how our Neolithic ancestors could have transported these boulders that far, when sophisticated tools or mode of transportation were still nonexistent at that time.

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Trilithon is one of the structures erected at the site. It has 2 large vertical stones supporting a third horizontal stone across the top. No one knows why they were arranged that way.

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The biggest mystery shrouding Stonehenge that intrigues us is how and why the monument was constructed.

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Many theories have been crafted as to why Stonehenge was constructed. One of the more notable ones involve its purpose as a sacred area for ritual ceremonies. It could also have been a burial ground in its earliest years as traces of human bones were discovered at the nearby bank.

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Humans have come a long way over time but the riddles of the past still continues to stir and pique our curiosity.

 

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Oxford

Mention Oxford, and most people will think of the prestigious Oxford University. But Oxford is more than the historical university, its timeless architecture, cobblestones, neoclassical buildings, medieval history and literary air are set to take your breath away.

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You may chose to cycle, hop on a bus or take on a walking tour to experience the rich history in Oxford.

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Markets offering a wide range of local produce.

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Spot the statue of a nude man sculpted by Antony Gormley which was erected on the roof of Blackwell’s Art and Poster shop.

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Grotesques which are stone carvings of characters are carved onto buildings around the city. Cast your gaze up the sky and imagine yourself droning over the buildings to catch these fanciful sights.

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The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford. It is a popular setting with numerous cameo appearances in movies like The Golden Compass and Harry Potter.

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The Radcliffe Camera is a neoclassical circular library infused with baroque styles. Pairs of Corinthian columns circled the second floor while a lofty dome crowned the building in style.

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Note the symmetrical elements surrounding the library. It created an illusion of having 3 stories from an outside view but in actual fact there are only 2 stories internally.

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University Church of St Mary the Virgin

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Caught a female statue blowing  a horn on top of the Clarendon Building.

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The Hertfort Bridge, aka The Bridge of Sighs due to its similarity to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice.

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A step into Oxford, an entrance to a world of wanderlust.

 

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Around Turkey

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Sultanahmet Mosque aka The Blue Mosque in the blurry background is located just opposite of Hagia Sophia.

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Beautiful shades of blue beaming in the interior of the blue mosque.

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The beautiful Hagia Sophia was originally a cathedral, later an imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul.

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Ilios or Wilusa aka Troy

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Ancient ruins excavated from the ancient setting of the Trojan War.

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The gigantic Trojan Horse- a character from the Trojan War where the Greeks hid inside the wooden horse in order to enter the city of Troy to win the war.

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Fairy chimneys at Goreme

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Mushrooms on limestones.

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Mount Erciyes at the backdrop, the highest peak in Cappadocia

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Hodja riding his donkey backwards- If you haven’t heard about the Nasreddin Hodja Stories, they are moral stories with a dash of humor .

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Look at this elastic turkish ice-cream- a traditional ice-cream that is thick and chewy.

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Turkish delights for the sweet tooth.

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An array of Mediterranean spices

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Dried fruits looking chewy, plump and sweet.

 

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Asklepion in Pergamum, Turkey

Asklepion was founded in 4th century BC around a sacred spring to serve as a medical institution.

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What is left is the ruins of Asklepion, still under the watchful eyes of Asklepios, the God of Healing who was believed to be able to resurrect the dead.

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Patients would begin their journey of healing by walking through this Sacred Way.

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Following the path of the ill and sick into the treatment building.

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There were cubicles where patients spent their nights in and by morning would recount their dreams to the healers in order to diagnose their problems.

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Modes of treatment included massage, bathing therapies, herbal remedies, drinking of water and surgeries. Patients were prescribed with customized treatments according to their diagnosis.

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A theater was built to provide entertainment to patients who might spent a longer time for treatment at Asklepion.

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An inexpressible tranquility and serenity hovered around Asklepion till this day, a testament to its reputation as one of the best healing institution of the ancient world.

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Pamukkale

My journey in Turkey brought me to Pamukkale known as “cotton castle” in Turkish.

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It is a World Heritage Site, well-known for the hot springs and the carbonate terraces formed from the flowing waters which deposited a host of minerals onto the limestone.

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The powdery-white limestone overlooking the town of Pamukkale at the foot of the hot spring.

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Bare your feet in the warm hot springs/ feel the chilly wavy motifs on the rocks.

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The castle appearing as fluffy as cotton, as white as snow, as creamy as sundae.

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Walls of limestone molded by cascading water, tinted with bits of tan.

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A nice blend of light rust, aqua blue and snow white.

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Caribbean blue waters against wintry sky

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Ephesus

Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, built in 10th century BC before it was conquered by the Romans in 129 BC.

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This historic site was scarred by earthquakes and invasion by the Goths and with the passing years, modern excavations have uncovered ruins and evidence of ancient life in this city.

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This is the Prytaneion where religious ceremonies and official functions were held.

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Repair and reconstruction have led us to the present Ephesus in Selcuk, Turkey where artefacts, statues, remnants of buildings, columns and pillars offer us an intriguing peek into the ancient Graeco-Roman life.

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The Library of Celcus with an imposinig facade guarded by 4 statues on the ground- each representing wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and virtue.

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Up-close view of the Statue standing for wisdom.

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An ancient advertisement showing the way to the brothel carved on a marble stone. The footprint probably indicated a turn at this point to the brothel, a woman’s head to the right of the footprint and the heart likely to show that women yearning for love were waiting in the brothel.

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The Odeon- an indoor theatre which used to be canopied under a wooden roof.

 

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Sea of steps into the past.

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The Great theater overlooking the ruins. It was awesomely breathtaking to trace backward in time to be amazed by the beautiful ancient civilization. Embrace the richness of history as you walk through Ephesus.

 

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