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World Trip 2011

Manchester, England

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 8 October 2011 | Views [399]

The first stage of our trip to Manchester started from the historic port of Dublin. A place that has seen many ships come and go over the years. Our ferry was one of the faster ones and the crossing to Holyhead in Northern Wales only took about 2 hours. After collecting all our baggage from customs we went to the train station to board our first train and the driver told us that our surfboards were too big. We were starting to stress and were thinking of other ways to get to Manchester when another guy came along and said that if we could find a space for them, we could go. So we searched the train top to bottom to find some room for them and managed to jam them into a bike storage area. We had to run for our second train which wasn’t an easy task with all our gear but we just made it. We made our third train with ease but we were getting some funny looks from the locals as I’m sure they don’t see too many surfboards around these parts. We were met at Piccadilly station by my Uncle Eric and Aunty Elaine whom we were staying with for the week. My dad is originally from Manchester so there is a sort of historical family connection to this city.

After a good sleep in, Danielle and I went into the city. Manchester is an old industrial city that thrived on cotton in the industrial revolution and has always had a reputation of being a rough and tough working man’s city. Whilst it still has some of these elements, the city itself has been developed and modernised. Some beautifully old buildings such as the town hall are spectacular but contemporary architecture is also visible in an attempt to fuse both old and new. Manchester does have a pumping nightlife as I found out last time I was here so we had a few beers in the Deansgate area as well as a couple on Canal street.

The next day Aunty Elaine drove us to through Llundadno on the way to Conwy Castle which is in the north of Wales. It’s a spectacular castle built around 1100A.D. and sits right on the bay overlooking the entrance to the river. We had a walk around all the ruins and climbed the towers all the way to the top and got some great photos. We then drove into the Snowdonia district where the road winds through expansive valleys and over flowing streams through the town of Betswy-coed. We somehow missed out on dinner and ended up at “Slappers fish n chips shop”. The two girls working there were straight out of Ladettes to Ladies- the TV show. All good.

We woke the next day and drove to Liverpool and cruised around the docks area which has had a major revamp in recent years and enjoyed a coffee. We then went and checked out the Antony Gormley’ “Another Place,” an art exhibit in Crosby. He is an artist that created loads of these life sized, metal statues of men that stand on the beach and look out to sea. Something different.

The next day we drove out to the Lake District which is a nice county north of Manchester. In past years it was a popular area for wakeboarding but a recent ban on motorized boats has put an end to the fun. We went on a cruise around Lake Windermere then jumped back in the car to check out Blackpool. Blackpool is a holiday resort town on the sea where people go and get drunk and gamble. It’s no Vegas but it was Ok for a quick visit. AND they had no pinball machines....devastated.

It was my birthday during this week so Danielle and I decided that we would take a trip out to Alton Towers which is a theme park about 50 miles from Manchester. We had a great day riding all the roller coasters. One in particular we rode numerous times. Freefall can feel so good, and always puts a smile on your face.

We spent a week in Manchester at Elaine’s house in Hyde and we can’t thank her enough for her kind hospitality and dedicated hours behind the wheel of the car driving us around everywhere. Now it’s off to London to meet up with my sister. We haven’t seen each other since February and haven’t had much to do with each other for 5 years or so. Danielle and I are excited to heading off to the big smoke and continue this epic adventure.

P.S. We have had over 2000 views of the travel journal now so thanks for tuning in!!!

Tags: alton towers., conwy castle, liverpool, manchester

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