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Saturday & Sunday, November 14-15, 2015
Bath and Wells, England

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to Spring – Aix en Provence for the Easter Festival.

Our guests, a delightful couple, Stan & Elaine, arrive from London, settle into their lovely room at the Queensberry, then meet us in the lobby for an introductory stroll around Bath – 09251503-where-Austens-heroines-walked1tomorrow morning we’ll have a full-blown tour of this fascinating city.
After an early dinner, we’re back at Bath Abbey for the first concert of our Music and Markets Mozartfest week – The Sixteen. 11141501 back in the Abbey for The 16This renowned orchestral and vocal ensemble, specializing in early music, is the traditional opening Saturday performance at the Abbey. With delicate period instruments accompanying, the pure tones of Monteverdi, a late 16th century Italian composer, soar to those exquisite arches high above us. 11131502 fan vaultingSunday morning we’re back again, ready to discover Bath with a Mayor’s Guide. With a few minutes before the tour begins, we usher Stan and Elaine into the Pump Room for a view of the Roman Baths below,BathRomanBathsand the glasses, awaiting the brave souls who will “take the waters”.  11151501 but first a peek in the pump roomBeau Nash, the arbiter of taste in Bath’s heydey, watches over the elegant salon.11151501 good taste arbiter overlookingThe popular Mayor of Bath’s Guides Tours are an institution in Bath, and each of the guides we’ve listened to through the years have an obvious love for their city along with an in-depth knowledge. 11151502 bath tourAs Andrew, our guide this morning, talks about the baths and the Romans the Abbey bells peal out a welcome to Sunday service.
I’m happy to see some lingering tinges of fall as we walk through the town – autumn remains my favorite season! 11151502 touches of fallFrom the lower town, by the Abbey and the river, we ascend to the upper town, where we’re staying. One of Bath’s most famous landmarks, The Crescent, 11151503 crescentwas designed by architect John Wood for the city townhouse dwellers to feel that the countryside was at their door, and the wide expanse of green below the crescent still gives that sensation today. 11151503 designed to embrace countrysideFrom Bath we depart for “England’s smallest city”,  delightful little Wells. 11151503 pretty little wellsThe Crown, right in the market square beside the cathedral, is just the place for a traditional Sunday Roast, 11151503 pub lunch at the Crownand we eat our fill11151503 pub lunch before walking to Evensong –  we’re JUST in time! And today, rather than the usual boys choir, sweet young voices of girls sing the psalms and hymns as we sit with them in the beautifully carved choir,11151504 evensong with unusual girls chorus intricate tapestries and needlework adorning the seats. 11151504 exquisite carvings embroideriesBuilt in Early English Gothic style between the 11 and 1400s, the Cathedral is filled with awe-inspiring craftsmanship, such as the massive and unique scissor arches stabilizing the center after an earthquake left it weakened. Although this video is too dark – by the time Evensong is over at 4 the short winter day is dimming – I think you’ll enjoy the organ resounding in this splendid space. 11151504 fantastic scissor archesThe Chapter House, up a well-worn stairway,11151504 up worn steps to charter house is another don’t-miss part of this ancient beauty. Built in 1306, this meeting place for church affairs would have been an inspiring place to conduct business, with it’s delicate tracery and vaults rippling across the ceiling, supported by a central pillar that’s been likened to a giant palm tree, spreading it’s foliage above. 11151504 vaulting fanReturning to Bath in time to prepare for the evening’s events, we walk to the Assembly Rooms, 11151505 assembly rooms pale turquoise stage set upwhere the Belcea Quartet is expanded with Adrian Brendel’s masterful cello added for Schubert’s String Quintet in C – 11151505 quintetbreathtakingly beautiful music to complete our Sunday.