Manchester – the next day

27 02 2006

Woke up later again today – this is a good thing, to cold and a bit of rain. Was able to get internet in the lobby so was able to send some notes and upload some photos. My computer is still allegedly in Shanghai. Due on the 27th, so will be waiting for me even if it is a day or two late.

Was not looking forward really on walking about because of the rain, but then the rain stopped :). It was cold, but the sun was out here and there so it made it nicer to walk. The cotton warehouses are incredible. The money put into this city in the last few centuries is incredible. Pax Britannia indeed. The convention centre / exhibit hall is massive. It actually floats on springs above its foundation to better dampen the vibration of the passing trains.

Manchester Manchester Warehouses Manchester towerq

I would like to come back, but not alone. This is a city to explore with someone, especially the night life.

One thought that stuck me as I walked about, reading signs, thinking of the presentations at URBIS yesterday, is how Manchester seems to scream “Best”*! Best* this! Biggest* that! Most* everything! Reminds me of Toronto that way, or Calgary, or really, any city that strives to be more than what it is. Not a bad thing, but it really puts into perspective the idiocy of it all when YOUR city screams Best*!

* Second to London

Found a nice Jewish deli for lunch, and only 3GBP for lunch with a Coke. Manchester it turns out has a large and established Jewish community (Thank-you URBIS). As well, there is a large established China-town, and of course the previously mentioned off market KFC (which points to a large Muslim community)

All too soon it was time to collect my luggage for the train to Lancaster. The 13:45 would take me to Lancaster, where I would switch to the 14:56 Virgin Express to Glasgow Central. It would be a quick transfer, but I was still a bit nervous. The Trans Penniene train was packed until suburban Manchester. A same platform switch at Lancaster put me where I am now. Seat 37, Car D, in a very modern Bombardier built diesel MU trainset. My notebook is being powered as I write this.

Manchester Piccadilly Station

The scenery has been breathtaking at times. Leaving the rolling hills we snaked through some rather towering treeless hills breaking into a valley at Carlisle. Then back into hills, covered this time in pine, or spruce. Reminds me allot of the foothills in Alberta, without the Rockies as a backdrop.

No really ability to take photos from the train (this train is modern enough to have double paned windows 😦 ) but I will have my memories (as long as they last).

Into Glasgow Central in just over an hour, then a short walk to Glasgow Queen Street for my train to Oban.

Cheers!

Brian

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