Casa’s Blog

A Life Abroad

These are the chronicles of life and death and everything between, These are the stories of our lives as fictional as they may seem…

So after a solid night’s (and morning’s) sleep, I am well rested and ready to tell the story of our trip to Manchester.  However, my tale starts at 11pm on Valentine’s Day Eve…just as I am hoping in to bed, a little earlier than usual, to make sure I am able to wake up at 7am as we were catching an 8:25am  train to Manchester –  Meeting up at 8am.  However, just as my head hit the pillow I was hit by the loud, obnoxious all too familiar sound of the fire alarm.  F***! Is all that I could think as I got dressed, grabbed my ipod and went downstairs to wait in the cold for half an hour until somebody arrived to see it was a false alarm.  Unfortunately, once again as I waited I was standing next to the SAME group of giggling girls going “whoops, we set it off again”.  Yep, that is right…it was the SAME BLOODY FLAT AS LAST week I could’ve screamed!

Anyway, eventually when I woke up in the morning we made to catch our train to Manchester Piccadilly Station.  It was an easy enough ride (50 mins in total) and the five of us (Andrew, Brent, Josh, Isuru and myself) filled in most of the journey by making fun of the places we saw along the way and playing a game where you have to go around and list A to  Z of different things (eg Drinks, TV shows, etc).  It was when we arrived at the station though that we realised our plan to walk around the city and “see where it took us” was flawed in that we had no map.  The map was harder to find than you would think, but once we had it and got some (somewhat undecipherable) directions to Old Trafford Football Stadium we were on our way.

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Now, the policeman told us to take one of the metrolink light rails, but as we had a few hours to kill before out 11:30 tour we decided we would walk it and follow the train line.  Initially this was a great idea as we saw quite a bit of Manchester (including the square seen below and the extremely humourous outdoor urinals seen even below-er).  However, once we got lost and the directions from a rather helpful guy manning a car park started with “you are quite a fair way away from Old Trafford…we swallowed our pride and grab the next Black cab we could find.

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Now as anyone who has followed this blog (ie my parents :P) would know, when I was in London I did the tour of Stamford Bridge (Home of Chelsea FC) and had also been outside Anfield and Goodison Park (Home of Liverpool and Everton FCs)…so this was not my first time having a tour of a Football Stadium but there was something extra to Manchester United’s home ground.  For starters the tour guide was an older gentlemen this time and as a result had a better historical record of the club.  Also, the respect given to the Munich disaster added an extra sombre tone.  In the end, the museum and tour just seemed to be a better, more well rounded experience as not only were you shown “where Ronaldo sits” but also given an insight into the less publicised aspects of the club (eg that there is a disability section of the stand which is free for fans…that impressed me!)

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After Old Trafford, we had the urge to go find a Chinese Buffet. Now a chinese food buffet may seem a little random, and it probably was, but as we knew that our next major stop would be Manchester Cathedral the similarities with our day in Liverpool were to strong for us not to attempt to ‘run with it’.  Although Andrew doubted our abilities, by asking the cabbie to take us to China town…and thanks to my eagle-like vision we quickly was swimming in Noodles and Rice.  Best of all there was a better dessert this time – including multiple flavours of ice cream and Coconut Ice Cream.

We then wandered our way through to Manchester Cathedral, once again with little idea where we were going but this time we had more luck.  Unfortunately when we got there it wasn’t the most impressive cathedral.  Actually when you look at it in the light of the numerous churches, cathedrals and the like in England/Europe…it was probably a poor excuse for a Cathedral.  I will say though that the choir was practicing at the time and that was quite good to sit and listen to for a bit.

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Out the front of the Cathedral, there was the “river” that flows through Manchester and as the  “Mighty Mersey” had been such a highlight of our trip to Liverpool.  We gave it a gander.  Unfortunately river entertained us in all the probably wrong ways as this “stream” was nothing compared to the Mersey haha
After that with little left to do in Manchester, and a lot of time before our train back to Leeds, we walked around a little more, caught a free bus around the town as part “sightseeing bus” and part “yay it is warm bus” and then sat and had coffee at the station and read the paper.  Now, I know the tabloids in the UK have a reputation and it is definitely deserved….BUT you all must google the story about the 13 yo British dad.  I had read this online previously, but the ‘rag’ we read had a lot more information about this rather sad, yet also funny case.  I swear the boy looks 5!  The funniest line being his confusion about the word “financially” means…

Once we were back in Leeds we headed off to the Old Bar for a few pints, saw the last past of the Wales vs England rugby union game (as Brisbane-r Brent was outraged by the Victorians lack of knowledge of the specific rules of Union), chatted about everything and nothing and then went off back to our accommodations to relax.  In the end I was glad to go to Manchester, it was good to see another side of England again…but it still makes me glad to be in Leeds.  I think Manchester had pluses over Liverpool and negatives with respect to Liverpool but Leeds still is my favourite city outside of London.

February 16, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. Simon, the hair?

    Comment by Riza | February 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. Read a few posts down😉 It was less choice than neccessity unfortunately😛

    Comment by casaboy69 | February 16, 2009 | Reply

  3. Ah yes, sorry I hadn’t seen that one. I’d send you some of mine but I need it as it’s rapidly fading too.

    Comment by Riza | February 16, 2009 | Reply


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