On Saturday afternoon after our time in the gallery we went to the city library, and immense building with different levels and viewing platforms. Although the city has grown on us and has some beautiful areas, the view confirms that it is rather a mish mash of old and new, shabby and imposing, and starkly modern.
Continuing our walk, we found the canal and walked along for a while before leaving to start on our way home.
We needed food and walked into the shopping centre where we found a food hall. The Japanese food looked most interesting and we saved money by having very small meals, which left us slightly hungry. We picked up a meringue to share and had it with bananas and peppermint teas when we arrived back.
There is a nightclub nearby and the local youth were partying, with loud music and shouting. Although we saw police cars and emergency vehicles lined up in a side street we didn’t hear them springing into action. I had some earbuds and found them very effective in shutting out the noise. We also partly closed our window as the night was a bit cooler.
Yesterday we walked out to try to have the nice bacon and egg sandwich we had yesterday, but the cafe was closed for Sunday. That left Starbucks as our only option. We picked up some fruit from the backpackers breakfast on our way back to our room. Our bus was leaving at 11.30 and checkout was 11.00 a.m. and we didn’t feel the need to hurry and that made packing up easier. We arrived at the bus station, bought some food for our picnic lunch on the bus, then called Matt for a FaceTime session. He wished Stephen Happy Father’s Day – not clear enough for us to understand, but the intention was clear.
The bus ride was fairly comfortable, but no opportunity to spread out as there is on a train. When we arrived at the bus station in Manchester there was about a 10 minute walk to the tram. Google Maps said that the distance to the train station was 16 minutes walk, so I suggested we walk. We passed the tram stop on the way. It was quite a distance after all, and the trams go right into the train station, catching the tram would have been the best option.
There was a train leaving in a few minutes, but we wanted to have time to work out the ticketing system and have a cup of coffee. As we waited the announcements kept coming about trains being delayed and cancelled. Fortunately, our wasn’t one of those.
On the train we felt we were definitely in a different region. It became hilly and wooded, with lots of small and large villages. We had sunshine most of the way and relaxed with the feeling that we had indeed arrived at a very beautiful area of England.
We weren’t sure if the buses were running so caught a taxi to the house. The front door was locked with a large padlock – which is only the beginning of it’s quirkiness. The owner is an artist, working in many different mediums, with examples of his artwork all through the house. We have a steep staircase, with three levels. Fortunately, we only need two levels.
At the top of the first flight the step goes into the hallway and we were worried that we might fall down the stairs during the night when going to the toilet. Fortunately, there is a little gate and cover for the stairs, which makes it fairly safe, though the cover is itself a trip hazard. Better to fall on a wooden floor than all the way down the stairs to a tiled floor at the bottom.
The front door of the house opens straight onto a road. If you cross it, there is a lovely view and the sound of a stream running far below. We have a car, which is fortunate as we needed to do some shopping of basics such as milk for the morning. We thought that being Sunday everything would be closed, but Google Maps showed a Sainsbury’s Local open until 11.00 p.m. down the hill near the station. We got quite a lot of food since we had a car to transport it home. By this morning we have another list of things we didn’t think of last night.
The central heating is on all the time and we didn’t realised it wasn’t on a timer until the bedroom got too hot for us, despite an open window. We turned off the heater to our room and I’ve turned the whole system down this morning. Although it is officially autumn temperatures aren’t all that cold, about a 12 degree minimum. Still, we are glad to have the heating system and know that we can be comfortable in the house.
There is much to explore, with the Bronte house about a 45 minute drive away and a park with waterfalls and walk and a cafe just 20 minutes away. We want to explore the local villages as well.
Getting into Manchester is fairly easy by train, only one an hour. Then there is a tram to the airport. We will see how we go with the driving as that seems the best way to explore around our area. Stephen and I are both on the vehicle insurance policy for the little car, a 2011 VW Golf four door and can share the driving if we want to go a longer distance. It would be much more challenging if we had to rely on public transport.
The view just across the road.