"They determined on walking round Beechen Cliff, that noble hill whose beautiful verdure and hanging coppice render it so striking an object from almost every opening in Bath." - Northanger Abbey
Moving so fast I'm breathless, but there's no time for jet lag or giving in to tiredness: time is short and I must make the most of every minute I am in England! So today, on leaving the George Hotel after the requisite eggy breakfast, I embarked on the difficult journey to Paddington with my suitcase (no working elevator at the station, only stairs to drag up my load), and secured a ticket for the train that would take me to Bath at 10:30. But the train ride was restful and lovely, gliding through the green English countryside with clouds changing every minute, and flowers nodding by the sides of the train.
My object was to visit longtime friend Jane Odiwe, well known Jane Austen author, artist and blogger, who very kindly invited me to stay at her flat in Bath. I have visited that beautiful city several times before, but knew that to see it through the eyes of an enthusiast as knowledgeable as Jane would be a special privilege. I could not but be reminded of the scene in Northanger Abbey where clever Henry Tilney teaches the naive Catherine about artistic views and perspective:
"He talked of foregrounds, distances, and second distances – side-screens and perspectives – lights and shades; and Catherine was so hopeful a scholar that when they gained the top of Beechen Cliff, she voluntarily rejected the whole city of Bath as unworthy to make part of a landscape."
At 4 Sydney Place, one of the addresses where Jane Austen lived in Bath
Burleigh Willow pattern
To drink tea while feasting the eyes on a nosegay of sweet peas...
Halfway up Beechen Cliff
Up the hangar
Views from the top
After enjoying the views, taking pictures, and smelling the wild garlic for which the hill is famous, we walked down, returning along the Kennet & Avon canals.
Bridge that was built in 1800, so Jane Austen might have seen it
And I slept to a miracle in Jane's beautiful bed.
Darkness sets in - at nearly 10 PM
Train station next morning