Friday, 26 April 2013


A friend and I made plans to meet up in Manchester and catch up yesterday, by coincidence it was actually exactly one year to the date since the last time we saw each other! Since we were meeting up after he finished work I decided to go to Manchester a few hours earlier to get the most out of my train ticket there, and of course to see a new city.

It was raining most of the day unfortunately so I didn't walk around as much as I had planned, but at least it's close enough to Chesterfield that I can go back. Krishan, my friend, did say when I met up with him later that it pretty much always rains in Manchester though so I guess next time I will ave to remember to bring my umbrella. At least I didn't do any shopping even though I went into a lot of stores to get out of the rain.

To get out of the rain I also went inside the Manchester Art Gallery. It's free admittance but they do have a collection box by the entrance for a 3GBP donation, or more. I like going in art galleries, I'm not a big art buff and I don't know much about art but I just like looking at the pictures. I find it so impressive that paintings that are several hundred years old can look like photographs simply because of the painting style. I like seeing old paintings with people in beautiful clothing, and it's interesting to see how the painting style has changed through the years. I do prefer art where you can see what it's supposed to be, I don't get the whole white canvas with a yellow line on it type style, and I like the pictures with hidden things in it, like when you look at a painting for a while and then suddenly realize there's a cat hiding in a dark corner or something, or when you can make out shapes in a picture in different shades of blue.

If you are able to get to Manchester before the 26th of May I would definitely recommend going to the art gallery. They have an exhibition on by Raqib Shaw which is really good. When you see the pictures from a distance they are just pretty with strong colours and sparkly bits, but then you get close enough to see what the pictures actually are and you notice that a lot of the pictures are actually quite disturbing, sexual and morbid, might not sound like a good exhibition to some of you but it was really interesting and I wouldn't mind going back. 

Manchester has got free shuttle buses in the town centre, it does three different routes so it's possible to see a lot of the city just by getting on one of those for a bit. I got on one of them just to kill some time before I met up with Krishan, one problem with it though is that the stops isn't announced before you get to them. I know it's not a tourist bus but it would still be nice to know where you can get off to get where without having to pay attention to the map and when to press the stop button.

When Krishan finished work we had dinner and a little wander around the city, it was really nice to catch up with him, hopefully it won't be a year until the next time we meet up again!

I have to admit that when I first got off the train at Manchester I got a little overwhelmed, I'm not a big city girl, I prefer smaller places. There were so many people everywhere and I was all on my own, I actually got a little scared for a minute, but then I haven't really heard the best things about Manchester; loads of crime and violence and I think that was the main problem, I've been to loads of big cities before and I've been fine. I find it's better not to know too much about a place before you go, especially negative things. 

I'd love to go back to Manchester and see more of it, I will have to try to go on a day it's actually sunny though so I can get some better pictures instead of getting raindrops on my camera lens.

What do you recommend seeing in Manchester?

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