Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bath and Me 2, Me as a student:

In this, (second last part) of my article I shall tell you my experience of being a student at the University of Bath and it sure was a fantastic experience. The first few months were so busy, going to and fro to and from classes, managing to complete assignments, attending seminars, networking, etc. Plus going out with friends, socializing, sightseeing Bath, as being a student I was also invited to lunches and evening get-to-gathers organised by our department. Although its fun being a student but we were always after free food. Yes, students are always poor, other than that being a 30 year old Masters student is no fun especially when all your fellow class-mates are not more than 26. I felt like a complete mis-fit, I always felt that way but I got to meet and be friends with older PhD students instead which was a benefit for me. Anyway, so I was talking about me being a student who was always after free food. I have no clue at all but I joined this socialising lunch club sort of a thing known as the Globe Cafe. This was held every Wednesday at the University Chaplaincy and every week they had free lunches based on different themes from different countries (e.g. Spanish, Indian, Italian, etc), food was good and I got to meet lots of other students.
Soon it was December and very cold (It snows here in January) and the days were short, very short indeed. The sunset was at 3:30 pm. As I mentioned earlier that Bath all round the year is packed with tourist. Although like the all of England (except London) the shops use to close at 5:00 pm but the restaurants, clubs, cinemas and pubs were all open till late, making Bath a lively city even in the evenings. Oh, I went to restaurants, cinemas and ice cream parlours a lot over there and guess what as I was on a wheel chair, I would always take a friend along with me to the movies cause its buy one ticket get one free, hence my friend and me would always split the money. Being a student I always got a discount on shopping and eating out at certain places, it was fun.
Soon was Christmas and before the 25th of December a Christmas Market was up and running a couple of weeks before Christmas. It was winter vacation and although soon after I had exams but somehow I always found time to go down into town in the freezing cold weather to visit the Christmas market. (The market consists of over 120 individual wooden chalet style stalls, each one offering quality products and brilliant gift ideas. From handmade crafts, unique jewellery pieces and decorations, to locally produced food and drink, one could always find that special ingredient for the most memorable and treasured gifts. Therefore with the perfect combination of exciting products and festive entertainment, Bath Christmas Market is a truly unique shopping experience and this is what made winter fun for me in Bath). As soon as I entered the town centre I could smell the aroma of roasting chess nuts and freshly brewed coffee. Although it was very cold but somehow roaming around the crowded town and market didn’t really make me feel the chilly winds. I never bought anything from the market, (as I found everything really pricy) except for a few chest nuts, but it was a pleasure to be there.
Soon came January and it began to snow and as the university was located up on a hill top therefore all the roads leading up on campus were blocked due to the heavy snow fall and hazardous weather conditions. The best part is my exams were postponed hence getting a week extra to revise. Which was a great blessing because I had too much fun at the Christmas market. Anyway, soon the weather cleared and I had my exams, everything went fine as I don’t really enjoy giving exams. My regular classes began next month which meant going to classes everyday but after class I always went into town with a friend to have a very late lunch (the best part about having a late big lunch it that I never had to bother about having dinner). My favourite place was Wagamama, the noodle and rice bar, economical, healthy and filling and oh yeh, forgot to mention super tasty! They are other many places to eat, like the usual ones e.g. Subway, Pizza Hut, Mac Donald’s, Pizza Express, KFC, Nando’s, Weather Spoons, etc. and all are wheel chair accessible. They are also a number of pubs, cafes and night clubs (I hardly ever went clubbing, don’t know why, never enjoyed loud music. You see I am a person who enjoys operas, theatres, art and music). The City is also well-known for its Pump Rooms, they are glorified tea rooms built next to the Roman Bath. My sister took me there for afternoon tea there on my birthday. It was a magnificent experience. After checking out the Roman Bath for the first time, my sister gave me a surprise birthday gift by inviting me to have tea at the Pump Rooms. Inside the decor is like of the typical royal Victorian times and it all looks grand. The tea rooms are constructed in such a way that the original warm water spring is flowing almost inside and one is also given a sample of water to taste, it feels a bit thick and condense and a bit salty, unfortunately it’s not tasty at all. The Pump Rooms are a bit expensive but its worth the visit.
February till June was really hectic, in and out of classes, managing completing assignments the only free time I got was the weekend. Every weekend I use to make an effort to get out of the University boundaries. (It is huge there, it has many cafes, a travel agency, a grocery shop, banks, doctors, a huge sports centre including a big gymnasium, two swimming pools and many other sports, during the week I use to manage to go to the gym after classes, its like a tiny city up there.). Over the weekend I’d always make sure to make my way into town, if I was lucky I would get hold of a friend and come back after dinner.
It was summer time, summers are the best in Bath and in July we had a few days off which made things even better. I had already completed and submitted all my assignments, therefore I had lots of free time with no worrying about studies. Everyday was a warm summers holiday for me, during this period of time I went out a lot exploring Bath. I would often go down into town and on a hot summers day read a book under a shady tree next to the river in the Parade Park. This delightful garden/park is Bath’s most centrally situated and popular pleasure grounds, attracting both tourists and residents. This is overlooking the River Avon and gives a fine view of the Pulteney Bridge and the weir. During the summer the flower beds displayed are breath-taking and small concerts are held throughout the summer months and children’s entertainment is provided during the summer holidays. Deck chairs are available, picnics are allowed and there is also a cafĂ© with outdoor seating. Its utterly blissful at the park.
Then another delightful place to relax after a hot summers day is the Royal Crescent and its gardens. It is known for its architecture (as its name states crescent) shaped like a crescent and was built in 1775. It contains some 30 houses, one of which is now the Royal Crescent Hotel, another is known as Number 1 and open to the public. It comprises of huge gardens which are laid out in front of it, where on a hot summers day people are sun bathing or families having picnics. And even I would be there with my friends chatting or reading a book if alone and enjoying the sun.
I never mentioned shopping in Bath, well that is because I am not a big fan of shopping myself. Shopping in Bath is great and offers a memorable experience with a fabulous selection of small independent shops and stylish boutiques alongside the familiar big name stores. The city centre is compact, easily walkable and most of the shops and street are wheel chair accessible. The City has been designed in the grand Georgian style, therefore the streets and small picturesque passageways are to be seen everywhere.
The City of Bath has a lot to offer, from history, culture, food, fashion and art along with its hot water springs. Its a unique experience with stunning architecture, great shopping and iconic attractions. As some anonymous visitor to Bath said about the city: "It has been the backdrop for many a jigsaw, chocolate box and railway poster and once you visit you will see why."
Now I have completed and passed my Master’s course from the grand University of Bath. On the 7th of July 2010 is my Graduation Ceremony, hence shall be visiting the City once again. Very much looking forward to it, I shall be refreshing old memories.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Chester, my lucky short trip.

It was the 25th, time to leave for Chester.  I had already booked two nights at the Holiday Inn Express, a wheelchair accessible room for £150. Trains straight from Euston London go to Chester, an open return train ticket for £62, I had my disabled rail card so it costed me I think £50.

Well I was no on the train to Chester with all my luggage that was a bag hanging at the back of my wheelchair. It was two hour beautiful train ride, passing by huge fields and meadows, animals grazing, endless colours of green and yellow. It was all magnificent, you hardly get to see such beauty while living in London.

At around three we reached, well there was nothing great  about the rail station but the town centre  was close by so we just walked it. Well by the streets I could tell it’s a gorgeous city and it was. The cobbled streets ad alley ways, the architecture of the building it was a heritage city. Chester was founded as a "castrum" or Roman fort with the name Deva Victrix in the year 79 by the Roman Legio II Adiutrix during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian. Chester's four main roads, Eastgate, Northgate, Watergate and Bridge, follow routes laid out at this time – almost 2,000 years ago. One of the three main Roman army bases, Deva later became a major settlement in the Roman province of Britannia. After the Romans left in the 5th century, the Saxons fortified the town against the Danes and gave Chester its name. The patron saint of Chester, Werburgh, is buried in Chester Cathedral.

It has a number of medieval buildings (which I took pictures of and I’ll put themup), and some of the black-and-white buildings within the city centre are actually Victorian restorations. OMG! its all amazing. I shall upload all the pictures its lovely and worth visiting. It is also very much wheelchair accessible.

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