Manchester !

Trip Start Feb 26, 2014
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13
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, April 21, 2014

Before I went to Manchester , people were often given me mixed reviews about it. Some saying there wasn't much to do, others saying it was one of the greatest places visited in the UK and I guess everyone has different experiences, but my weekend getaway to the North was nothing short of amazing. 

Getting around the UK is not only easy it is also cheap. Buses leave on a regular basis from Central London and by booking online you can often get return tickets for under 15 Pound with National Express or Megabus. Although the trip is just over 5 hours long, it is worth every minute as you will drive through some beautiful countryside and see a little bit more than you bargain for. 
 
If time permitted, I would of loved to have stayed in Manchester for longer than the two days available because it gave me a taste of a "real" UK city. Unlike London it was not so fast paced and chaotic.The city centre is similar to a large park with grass, shops and cafes and a tram. With everything in walking distance you are able to get some great exercise while still seizing everything this beautiful city had to offer.

DAY ONE

I spent the day exploring the City of Manchester. Starting off at Manchester Cathedral you wont miss this exquisite gothic masterpiece as the bell rings loudly at 15 minute intervals. Making your way past the large Corn Exchange, which is full of shops I came to the very popular National Football Museum. One great thing about Manchester is that all of their gallery's and Museums are not only are they free but have multiple interactive games to play! With over 3 levels of Football artefacts challenges and history it became clear why even the bins in Manchester had footballs on them. 

 Next I made my way to the MOSI - Museum of Science and Industry. Similar to Questacon in Canberra but on a much larger scale, this museum hold over 6 separate buildings devoted to various science and technologies. You can make your way through Electricity, Astronomy, Textiles or even Transport and partake in too other interactive activities that surprisingly do educated you

 If you want to Appreciate all forms of art including film, sculpture or 1700's paintings, head to the Manchester Art Gallery. With many different exhibitions there is definitely something to suit everyones tastes. One exhibition that I found amazing was that by Thomas Horsfall.

  After a busy day, I suggest heading to The Avenue. A very popular and quirky part of Manchester with loads of bars and restaurants in an open square where many people seemed to head after a hard days work.. or exploring. It is also a lot cheaper to go out in Manchester than London with often 1 Pound Shots or 2 Pound Beers, you wont break the budget by having a good night. 

 
DAY TWO

One can not head to Manchester without visiting the very famous Old Trafford. Home to the great Manchester United, this massive stadium seats over 70000 people and is often sold out every home game of the season by die hard fans and members. For a small price you can do a stadium tour and visit the museum which contains past premiership trophies, photos, jerseys and many other Man United relics. Tours do not run on game days, but if you get there early enough you may be lucky to catch the team as they head to pre game meetings. As someone who never really followed the football, after visiting a stadium like this you cant help but get excited to jump on the bandwagon. The passion that is vivid in towns like Manchester is contagious as nearly everywhere you looked was Red. 

People can make or break a city and the people of Manchester certainly made my trip. Everywhere you walked was a smiling face and often a random hello from a stranger on the street. I was even stopped and got caught up for over an hour talking to some workers at Old Trafford. The people of the North were more then welcoming and really did make you feel at home and wanted. I think this was one thing that really enhanced my weekend.
 
 It has been said that in order to truly appreciate a country, you need to go outside the big cities, branch off into the countryside and touch base with the locals, for it is here you will truthfully discover what a place has to offer... So I urge you all to visit places outside of the capitals, because it is in these towns that depth is added.
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