Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Manchester trip -- Day 1

We enjoyed our previous Manchester mini-break so having realised there were still lots of things we hadn't seen, we ventured on another short visit. It's not that we're tired of London, but it's always fun to explore somewhere new. Of course Manchester is not exactly new. I was born there (in a hospital in the city centre) I grew up there (less than 2 miles from the centre), but it's changed so much that it's rather like being in one of those weird dreams where you know you're supposed to be somewhere you know, but it all looks different. Except suddenly you'll come round the corner and see a familiar building. Well, revisiting Manchester is like that for me.

Anyway, we had booked to stay in the same apartments as last time and because we were travelling on a Sunday, we reserved and pre-paid for the parking at Machynlleth. We also had to collect the pre-paid for train tickets at the ticket office because the trip was a fairly last minute decision, so there hadn't been time to get the tickets sent by post.

They're busy doing work to the footbridge at Machynlleth to make the station more accessible, but they have got both platforms open again (last time all the trains were stopping at Platform 1). The journey was uneventful with just one change at Shrewsbury.

It was too early to check into the apartment, but they were happy to let us leave our luggage and we went off in search of food and places to explore. Food ended up being a burger in Burger King where we discovered that one end of the upstairs seemed to be the hangout of choice for a group of black teens who were all (in best northern tradition) dressed in their best clothes. As we ate, we stared out of the window at the tramlines, trying to fathom how the points worked. Are the trams stuck on a fixed route? Is there some way of switching them from one route to another? It remained a mystery.

We then went for a wander around, with me keeping up a running commentary of, "That's new. That's new. I don't remember that. That wasn't there before. Ooooh! This bit is the same!"

The art gallery was familiar and we looked at Pre-Raphaelites and (what had always been a favourite as a child) an absolutely enormous painting of a Roman chariot race. By now we were feeling that we'd done enough for one day, so we headed back to the apartment via Waitrose to get food for dinner. We successfully negotiated the self-service checkout which, being country bumpkins, we still find novel and amusing. After dinner I caught up online using my phone and then watched TV. Tomorrow we have planned an expotition out into the Pennines which are the hills you can just see in the distance in these photos.

View from the apartment

The view is not quite as spectacular as the view from our hotel in London on our last trip down south. :)

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