Yesterday morning we got up from bed quite early. We had a bus to the airport to catch as new adventures were planned for this weekend. The alarms had been set to 4:30 A.M. and we were in sleepy mode as we left home and walked to the bus stop on the other side of the street. Luckily the bus to Stockholm Arlanda Airport was on time and we were soon checking in to our flight to Manchester.
Returning To Manchester
For Susann this is a return to the good old times. She used to live in Manchester for three years while studying at the University of Manchester. It is eight years ago that she left the city and she hadn’t been back since – before this very trip.
For me (Jesper) this is a visit to a new country and a possibility to see one more of the cities where Susann has previously lived. I have quite surprisingly never visited the United Kingdom before. There are now only Lublin and Moscow left for Susann to show me. This is also the perfect occasion to visit an old friend from my time at Linköping University. She is currently living in Manchester.
So as it happens we have now ended up in Manchester and we have really enjoyed the weekend in the company of Sundas and Farooq.
A Day Sightseeing In Manchester
We spent most of Saturday walking around in Manchester. Among other things, we saw the Cathedral, the Town Hall, China Town, and the City Library. It was also a day with a lot of activities in central Manchester due to the annual pride parade. We stopped for a few minutes to watch the police force and fire rescue squads as they passed the cheering crowds. I was quite impressed by the effort put into the parade. However, there was a lot of people out and from that point on we tried to stay away from the area of the parade so that we more effortlessly could get around and see the sights of interest.
One of our main spots of interest was the University of Manchester Campus. The walk on campus added a bit of nostalgia to Susann’s trip. In my opinion it was quite an impressive campus. I might have expected it to be even bigger, but considering that there is another university just next door it is still huge.
And of course a day back in Manchester for Susann cannot be complete without some shopping. Or at least the chance to look around a little in stores like Primark. Susann tells me that’s where she used to spend quite a bit of time back in the day! Primark by the way really is a nightmare for some of us, but this one was at least calmer than the one we visited in Vienna a few years ago. Believe it or not, the store in Manchester is the largest Primark in the world. Luckily I did survive and our hand luggage will not be much heavier due to this detour.
I had promised Susann that we could do some shopping while in Manchester, so of course we did go to more than only Primark. During Sunday and our last day in the city we joined Sundas and Farooq to Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet just 45 minutes from Manchester.
Here Susann had some time to enjoy herself and we spent quite a few hours (and pounds!) walking in and out of the shops. There were surprisingly many of them.
How About The Food?
One thing is certain, we walked passed several really interesting restaurants while in Manchester during Saturday. Any foodie will enjoy the city! But we only stopped for some small snacks along the walk. When it comes to the food we were the lucky ones this weekend. Or what do you say about home cooked Pakistani food on Saturday evening, made by our friends. It was really delicious and we will probably still feel the effects of the food coma at the end of next week.
To add to the food coma we stopped at Abaseen in Levenshulme for some Chapli Kebab after our shopping trip today. This is another dish we had never heard about before, but it was a positive surprise. It sure has been a weekend with a lot of new culinary experiences.
I’m not sure how many of my Swedish colleagues at work were upset about my non-interest of going to a game of football while in Manchester. Especially since Manchester United now has Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their starting line up.
To put it like this, we only have a total of two days in the city. Manchester United had an away game against Hull yesterday. So no action on Old Trafford and no Zlatan in the city. Manchester City did play home against West Ham today, but the time and interest for the game was something we did not have. So sorry everyone who’s upset for us not going to a football game. Susann sends you her greetings though: there is so much more to Manchester than just footie!
Next Stop: London