One Day in Manchester

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One of the cool things about my job is that every now and again I get to go on a ‘business trip’ somewhere new. This weekend, it was Manchester, and although I went there for work, primarily, I could not leave without at least a quick peek round the city.

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Because I was on a tight schedule, I started my tour at 8am. Which meant the city was still asleep and hungover from the night before – perfect sightseeing conditions. Waking up in a new city has to be one of the best feelings in the world.

I cannot say I covered everything in Manchester, but what I did see gave me a good idea of the feel of the city, and I really liked it. I liked the colours of Chinatown, the muffed noise of the city trams and the architectural variety of modern and old buildings. Metallic white and plastic, beige bricks, auburn walls, stained-glass windows. Little English pubs squeezed between fashion outlets and banks. Crocus plants blooming by the church.

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Many sites were under construction so the city gives an ‘unfinished’ impression. Old factory chimneys and big blocky buildings remind you that it’s not supposed to be a charming English town or a European state of the art capital – Manchester is industrial at heart. The occasional bits of impractical decorations – marble cherubs’ heads over a window, a fancy tower, beds of flowers – are enough to soften the city’s character though.

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I barely spent 24 hours in Manchester, but it was worth the four-hour train journey. I hope to be back very soon.

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