Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Off piste

My dear friend K invited me to a weekend at a spa outside Bath, suggesting that it would be the perfect antidote to Christmas and New Year entertaining and January blues. In the relaxation room of the spa after our treatments on Saturday, we joked about how enticing the hot outdoor pool looked amidst the haze of snowflakes which had started to cascade from the sky. At around 4pm we drove into Bath for a stroll around the shops. We couldn't find much to excite us: a cashmere sale and an exotic oil and vinegar shop were the highlights of our spree. The snow was getting quite heavy and at 5.30pm we thought we'd go back to our hotel.
Well, it was a good idea. The problem was that the hotel was in a bowl, surrounded by hills and the snow was so treacherous that it was impossible to drive up any of lanes over the hills. Up a hill we drove until we could go no further. Down a hill we reversed, skidding along the ice. Three hills and two hours later we decided to abandon the car. A fellow strandee assured us that the hotel was just over the hill and around the corner. Off we marched into the blizzard.
A mile later, decidedly damp and with no sign of civilisation or hotel gates, our enthusiasm for the Great March was waning. We then stumbled across an army barracks. "Come on!" I urged K, "Let's shelter in the sentry hut and call the hotel to collect us." The soldiers, once they were assured that we were not some abominable snowman terrorist threat, were jolly company and we phoned the hotel. Our rescue car arrived within 10 minutes: the entrance to the hotel was literally around the corner!


Blogger Angus said...

How exciting !

2:24 pm  
Anonymous kinglear said...

Scotland is noted for these sort of events. Some years ago, a friend and I were returning home after a day out to a house just outside Glasgow. The house was at the top of the hill with a windy road up to it. We had to abandon the car at the bottom of the hill and started walking the approx. 500 yards in a straight line to the house. My friend - a heavy smoker -managed about half way, then beseeched me to save myself and leave him to die in the snow a la Scott. Fortunately I had a hip flask with me like a good St. Bernard and managhed to get him home. 24hrs later he asked if I was going into town ( through the continuing blizzard) If so could I possibly bring back 200 cigarettes as he had run out.....
But I am very glad you and your friend are safe and sound...

4:52 pm  
Anonymous Portinari said...

OH Dear WW I bet you were a bit Piste Off.

9:31 am  
Blogger elleeseymour said...

Oh dear, poor you! Sounds like you need another spa break to recover from your ordeal.

9:35 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...


Definitely, Portinari & Ellee!

1:20 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hope the hotel was warm after all that!

11:05 pm  

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