A Manchester, England Primer

Manchester, England’s Town Hall
(From Wikipedia.org)

Manchester, England, much like Valencia, where we spent the last month, is off the radar for most major tour book authors. The principle reason we’re going is pretty simple: we were invited to house sit for a couple there and we jumped on the opportunity. As we blogged earlier this year, house (and pet) sitting is a win-win-win. It’s a win for us because we get lodging–an entire house!–for only the commitment of taking care of the house and pets. It’s a win for the owners because they know their home and pets are being well taken care of, and they don’t have to pay for boarding. And of course it’s a win for the pets–in this case 3 cats–because they can stay home and not in a kennel. It’s really a double-win for us because we get to enjoy pets for a few weeks while we’re there.

But what, you might be asking, will we do while we’re in Manchester?

Well, first off we certainly hope to take advantage of the quintessential English experience of pubs. Not for the drinking (though we’ll certainly enjoy our rations of ale and cider) as much as for the pub grub. Fish and chips. Bangers and mash. Pot roast and potatoes. Custards, tarts, and scones. Who said English cuisine wasn’t good?

There’s also the opportunity of being in an English-speaking country to take advantage of. It’s time for both of us to have our hair knocked back into shape, and being able to communicate with the person holding the scissors seems a good idea. And though we’ve been enjoying watching episodes of “Breaking Bad” on NetFlix (we’re in season 3: don’t spoil anything for us), we’re looking forward to English being spoken on the telly. We might even catch a few movies at the theatre.

We’ll get some shopping done–likely picking up some warmer or “layerable” clothes as we’ll be moving into fall and over to Ireland–and enjoy settling in as “temporary regulars”, which means walks in the parks, and maybe day trips to Liverpool or the smaller towns like Chester or the nearby Peak District National Park.

Perhaps on the very top of our list, we plan to attend a Manchester United game!

But when it comes to attractions and things we might do, here’s what we’ve picked off the list of to-dos from TripAdvisor:

  • The Manchester Cathedral – if there’s a good-looking church in town, we’ll be there!
  • Manchester Town Hall – for interesting old-fashioned English architecture
  • Imperial War Museum – looks to be one of the best war museums around
  • The Manchester Museum – for dinosaur bones and ancient Egyptian artifacts
  • Manchester Art Gallery – mainly for 19th century British paintings
  • The John Rylands Library – for the architecture and the smell¬†of old books
  • Breakout Manchester – we’ve not yet done an interactive game, but this one looks like a lot of fun
Obviously we have plenty to see and do while we’re here, so stay tuned for blogs on our adventures in Manchester!

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