Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A Weekend in Manchester...Part 2

Well, naturally enough after spending the full day at the beer festival on Saturday, a slightly slow start to the day occurred on Sunday. We were ready to check out of the Travelodge at about 10am - and were surprised to be greeted by no fewer than THREE members of staff behind the reception desk. The reason became apparent when we were asked to "Grade our experience at their hotel" please....I'm afraid we gave them a grudging 3! Clearly after the problems with the electrics the previous morning they wanted to pre-empt any complaint that they felt might have been forthcoming from us. After a nice chat with a chap who we presume to be a manager, he offered a compensatory e-voucher by way of apology, which we accepted. All in all they dealt with the situation very well and we were quick to praise the staff who handled the situation on the saturday very well indeed.

After a bit of wandering around feeling slightly delicate, eventually we felt in the mood for breakfast so it was back to Saturday morning's "find" - the Koffee Pot - for a repeat of yesterday's "Flinglish" as a good friend calls it. No photos today - we were too busy eating the evidence! Far more able to cope with life after that, and still having a while before our train left, we headed off for a bit more exploring.

One of the things I noticed about Manchester was that the architecture reminded me a lot of Glasgow. In part I think it's the sheer mix of different styles, and the grand-ness of many of them. There are a lot of very warm colours used too - sandy stone and pale red brick.


And lots of interesting details on the buildings, too...


A large chunk of the city was destroyed, of course, in the 1996 IRA bombing - the damage this caused meant that many buildings either had to be rebuilt or given a complete facelift. As with any regeneration of this type this seems to create huge divides between those who love it and those who feel the exact opposite, and certainly there are some real contrasts in Manchester between the old and the new.

MrEH spotted this unusual building, and we went for a closer look....


 ...and then, down a side-street, this unusual pub sign...


 ...although it would usually have been tempting, we were still all "beered out" from the day before so we didn't go in. I wonder if these little chaps, spotted on the outside lurking behind a hanging basket ...


...were anything like the usual clientele?!

A sudden downpour sent us looking for cover - we popped into a handy Aldi store to grab a couple of 29p bottles of water, and when we came out the sun was shining again. The contrast of the still overcast-from-the-rain slight darkness and the bright sunshine caught my eye as we passed this fountain...


Another building here with eye-catching architecture and unusual colours of brick/stone being used...


...then it was time to head for Piccadilly Station to get our train home. Just one final building grabbed my attention not far from the station...


This was apparently the warehouse of the company named on the front - who were mill-owner and cotton weavers. It just goes to show what a huge industry weaving was, that they could afford quite such an impressive building as a warehouse!

All in all we liked Manchester, and will look forward to returning at some stage. The Beer festival was excellent too - a great range of beers, a nice atmosphere, well run and reasonably priced. A return trip next year might definitely be going into the diary!

Robyn.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

I love the quirky details you always seem to find on buildings, Robyn. And I love the folk lurking behind the basket - they look like complete rascals.

Robyn said...

Thank you! There were lots of the little carved chappies round the building, but those caught my eye particularly, peeking out from behind the basket like that!

Gill H said...

Have you ever been to Liverpool city centre? I'm always amazed at the buildings, mainly the old shipping offices and insurance buildings. They aren't just functional, there is such a lot of detail, even at roof level. Who on earth was ever going to see it!