What? Manchester? Everyone knows London is THE city to go to England. Before you judge our English destination, you should know two things. One, we still plan on making a weekend trip to London, so don’t be worried we’re missing out. Two, Manchester is actually a fun, cheap alternative to London.
Originally, instead of spending the whole weekend in Manchester, Shannon and I planned on taking the train from Manchester and spending Saturday in London. However, we kind of missed our window to get the cheaper train tickets and decided it would be better to spend an entire weekend in London instead…especially after we sort of fell in love with England.
Now down to the trip. We stayed at a nice Airbnb really close to Manchester University. It was a pretty central location and made it really easy for us to walk everywhere we wanted to go. It also meant lots of drunk college students at night, but its quaint because they talk funny.
We got in really late on Friday night, so Saturday was really our first day in the city. We started off by getting the traditional English breakfast at a little place called Bowlers. It consists of bacon, sausage, eggs, tomato, mushrooms, beans, toast, and coffee/tea. I admit the beans are a little weird, but I ate it all. I wanted to taste English culture, and evidently that means eating beans on buttered toast for breakfast. After our healthy meal, we decided to walk around the center of town for a while. We went to see a few sites like the cathedral and a little victorian era cluster of buildings, and later stumbled onto the shopping area. Manchester has a really good shopping district and a huge mall in the center of town. We spent a while wandering around the Americany mall and even went into Aldi to find some real peanut butter.
We were still pretty full from breakfast so we decided to forego lunch and grab an English pint from a cool little bar in the center. Naturally, I chose a Sam Adams because…America. After spending some time in our room relaxing from all the walking, we found a collegy place to get dinner. I felt like we were the only ones eating because I’m pretty sure 7:30ish is a little late for dinner for them.
After that, we went to a few more places to get a couple more pints. We had to take advantage of the good beer because Spain has like 4 types of the same crappy stuff. I have to say though, a pint seemed like a lot of liquid after spending so much time drinking cañas (200 mL glass) in Spain. The bartender seemed baffled by the fact that I wanted a half pint and by the fact that I asked for it with an American accent. I get the feeling they don’t get a lot of tourists there.
On Sunday we went back down to the center to do some shopping. We found the Manchester Primark, and I’m pretty sure it was Shannon’s shopping heaven. To be fair, the store is really impressive. It’s like the size of a WalMart, but only for clothes. We also went and grabbed a cup of tea and a delicious piece of cake, treat yo self – am I right?
We worked up an appetite walking around the never ending land of Primark and decided to get some lunch. We found a cool English pub with lunch deals and decided to get fish and chips and a beef pie. They were both really good! I’m not sure I’m among those who hate English food.
After that we went to John Ryland’s Library to see some cool old stuff. Basically it’s a really old library that looks like something out of a Harry Potter movie with old books and really great architecture. By the time we left the library, it was getting late, and we had to catch our flight back home.