Since I am in UK, I always wanted to travel up north, either to Manchester or Liverpool. Although, I’ve been to York with my family for a couple of days in December, which is in the North and I could warmly recommend it. York is such a charming city, with the intact wall from the Roman times.
Back to my trip, I was lucky that Professionals UK offered me this trip. Manchester, I am buzzin’ for this.Finally, my journey to Manchester began on Wednesday 1st February. I took the train from Brighton to London Victoria. Then I took the tube to London Euston. From there, I took another train to Manchester Piccadilly (Virgin Train is so much more comfortable than Southern, they even have Wi-Fi, not that it is necessary but useful). My train journey went very smoothly and astonishingly the sun was shining and I was daydreaming rather than reading.
My lovely friend picked me up and we went to hers to drop off my bags. We took the bus (Stagecoach) to Piccadilly Gardens. I asked my friend which bus stop I have to get off and she asked “what do you mean?” and I said, “you know, to press the ‘stop’ button” and she replied “we don’t have bus stop names”. I looked at her “are you kidding me, how on earth am I supposed to know where to get on and off?”, but I didn’t say it out loud. As a tourist, that’s not very helpful. At that point I started remembering all the shops, signs and buildings (just before the stop I have to get off, so that I know when to press the stop button. It gets tricky at night, make sure to remember something which is light). What I did is I switched on my GPS to locate the bus and immediately knew where to get off (thanks to Wi-Fi on the bus and Google Maps – really valuable!). The down side though is, your phone battery runs out quickly. These days everyone has a portable charger, if not go to a coffee shop, relax, drink a hot drink and charge your phone. Easy as that and some shopping centres even have a charging box.
Off we went to do some sightseeing. I am always so excited to visit new places, like a child who just got a new toy. First of all, we went to the Manchester Cathedral. It is evidence of an early Saxon church, beautiful stained glass and the Stoller Organ. I would recommend to go the Shamble Square and have a pint at The Old Wellington. Unfortunately, we missed the secret Hanging Bridge, which is a real shame (as the name suggests, it is a hidden bridge). It is worth having a look since it is from the medieval time, so keep your eyes open. Afterwards, we want to the John Rylands Library. The gothic architecture makes it even more mysterious and charming. On the inside, the staircase and corridors with columns, not to speak of the reading room, it looks very much like in Harry Potter movies (for all the Harry Potter fans out there, you won’t be disappointed). The Library is providing a free introductory tour in the afternoons, so don’t miss it. Next to the library you will find the Wood Street Mission, which provides help to children and women in need. Originally, it was founded for the factory and mill workers during the industrial revolution.
Someone recommend us to go to the Lounge 12 on top of Manchester House for a drink or Afternoon Tea with a view. I expected to see a beautiful skyline with an even more beautiful sunset, instead we just saw tall buildings. Don’t get me wrong, the view was stunning, but the light was just not coming through all the new skyscrapers. It’s crazy how the city is built up and you will see a lot of cranes. I would personally recommend you to go to Cloud 23 on top of Beetham Tower instead, which is the tallest building in Manchester and even the tallest building in UK outside London (I don’t particularly like the shape of it, but I guess the view must be much better, especially for a sunset or at night).
I organised a meet up with some of the interns working in Manchester at Home Sweet Home in Deansgate. It is located at the Great Northern’s (former Old Northern Railway Company’s Goods Warehouse). You will immediately notice, this is not the only warehouse they refurbished. Home Sweet Home has a diner and a good selection of cake and they even have big milkshakes. It was interesting to meet new people – other interns on the one hand, on the other hand, getting to know where they stay and what tasks they do for their internship. And the most important question whether they are happy with their placement. We all agreed that it is much profitable to work for a small company, as you get diverse work, more responsibility and the atmosphere is so much nicer compared to a big company. If you want to make the best out of it to improve your English, stay with a host family, try to avoid talking to your friends in your language, and engage yourself with locals or others who don’t speak your language. Basically, try to talk as much as you can (don’t worry about making mistakes! The purpose of language is to communicate!), read the local news or listen to the radio. Make sure you are happy, otherwise contact your supervisor. What was funny is, the interns were all Germans and they missed the German sausage the most, lol. At this point, I would like to thank all of you who came to the meet up, it was lovely to meet you 🙂 .
What I’ve already noticed on my first day is that Manchester is huge and has a variety of architectural styles. My most favourite buildings are the red brick buildings from the Victorian era, like the impressive neo-gothic Town Hall and John Rylands Library. These are huge buildings with real style! In some parts of Manchester you can still see the remaining warehouse structure (now renovated), which is a result of the Industrial Revolution. What is characteristic as well is the Canal and the first railway station used to transport goods is the Manchester – Liverpool road. After the IRA bombing in 1996 new skyscrapers mark the city centre.
This was my first impression of Manchester, more of my adventure will follow soon.
Until then your