Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Fun Weekend

Had quite a fun-packed weekend. It was Gloucester Pride on Saturday. We gathered at Shire Hall to listen to speeches, then marched through town to the park where there was live music and stalls.

Apparently the longest rainbow
flag in Europe!

Then on Sunday I headed to Crickley Hill in Gloucestershire with the local Pagan moot to celebrate Solstice.

View from Crickley Hill

Meanwhile, Dad and his partner were over on Swansea Gower participating in a world record breaking skinny dip:

Very proud of them - and well done Marie Curie! :)

Haven't seen much of summer this year. Been overcast with regular downpours here for weeks. Facebook update doing the rounds:

INSTALLING SUMMER.. ███████████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ 44% DONE
Installation failed. Please try again. 404 error: Season not found.

Hope it's sunnier where you are :op

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Sulis Minerva

Sulis Minerva

Just got back from an absolutely amazing day at the Thermae Spa at Bath with my friend Cathryn.

After my last post I detoured around Lewisham to see my friend Cassie, then Peckham to pick up Cathryn and drive back to Gloucester. A couple of years ago when Cathryn and I were still living in Africa, my dad's partner sent me a spa voucher for my birthday. It had to be used by the end of this month. As Cathryn is on half-term (she's a teacher) we booked ourselves in.

What an amazing experience! I was a little nervous as I was always the kid climbing trees rather than the one playing with make-up. I wasn't too sure that I'd fit in at a spa - but it was lush.

We got the package with complimentary towels, robes and slippers. Lots of lounging in the thermal waters of the rooftop pool, looking out across the city's spires, and soaking in the larger downstairs Minerva Pool.

Rooftop Pool, Bath Thermae Spa
The natural thermal springs were first discovered by Prince Bladud around 863BC, who was cured from his skin disease after bathing in the waters. The waters were then enjoyed by the Celts, Romans, Saxons and Georgians and are the constant thread throughout the history of Bath.

The water fell as rain around 10,000 years ago and then sank to a depth of about 2km. Here it is heated by high temperature rocks before rising back up through one of the three hot springs in the centre of the City, the Cross Spring, Hetling or King’s Spring, which supplies the Roman Baths.

The thermal waters contain over 42 different minerals, the most concentrated being sulphate, calcium & chloride. Over 1 million litres of this mineral-rich water flow from the springs each day.

The thermal water in all four baths at Thermae is the optimum bathing temperature of approximately 33.5°C (92°F). - Spa Website

The baths at Bath have a very long history around the goddess of the waters, Sulis (a local Celtic deity), who the Romans called Sulis Minerva, after the Roman equivalent of Athena.

It was a glorious sunny day and the water was nice and warm. We also partook of the Kraxen Stove, which is a really strange sauna experience where you sit in an alcove which is padded with chamomile hay. They place a sheet over you so that only your head is sticking out, then boil you in the bag like a cup of herbal tea! It was actually really nice. The smell was amazing and because your head is out you can withstand the heat much longer.

After more lounging and a two-course meal, we ended with an aromatherapy hot oil massage. I was in heaven. They have little rest rooms after the treatment where you lie back, listen to soothing music and help yourself to herbal tea. I almost fell asleep.

It's just a wonderful experience and if you've never been to a spa before (like me) the staff are really helpful and talk you through everything.

They also have the most amazing sauna level with round perspex rooms lit in different colours, each with a different aromatic oil: Lavender, Mint & Eucalyptus, Mint, and Apple. In the middle of these bubble rooms is a huge circular cascade of water to shower under between heat sessions. Beautifully designed.

You have to pre-book treatments, but you can use the spa for two hours at £25, four hours at £35, and get a day-pass for £55. Well worth it.