My second day in Manchester was very exhausting, but instructive. Seriously, I think I never walked so much for a while (I should have counted my steps on my phone!). I spent the whole day in museums and galleries and was dead on my feet. I started my journey of the day with the Manchester Museum. It is part of the University of Manchester and you cannot miss the huge crowded campus and the large number of students wander around (never take a bus going pass the University area on a Friday night. Drunken teenagers are too noisy, saying that makes me feel like a granny. Gosh!). Furthermore, there are a lot of volunteers at the museum. (I have to tell you this, when I was sitting in the picnic area, one lady came and asked me whether I am here to volunteer and I said no I am just visiting. In fact, I am a student, so she was not that wrong.) I felt the content of the museum was nothing special. You know, the usual history of a city, i.e. rocks & minerals, fossils, meteorites, stuffed animals. However, I liked the fact that they have boards saying “eat thoughtfully” and thus make people aware of their behaviour and food consumption and –waste. I also liked the beautiful hall with a huge skeleton in the centre and butterflies representing freedom. It’s a great place for kids, because the “Nature Discovery” was made colourfully and they have a Vivarium with reptiles too.
After a little break, I went to the Manchester Art Gallery. The architecture is in Greek style – white columns – just wow! The main hall looks amazing too and it was built in 1823. The best thing is, all the museums and Galleries are free to enter (not like in Switzerland). You can donate a little amount of £3-5 to the Museum. Being inspired by the beautiful collection of 25,000 objects, food was much needed. I went to the restaurant with a growling stomach and had a warm soup. I looked around and never felt so young. Seriously, everyone around me seemed at least 50+!
I passed the Manchester City Council and went to the Town Hall with the intention to see the Clock Tower on top, but it was close for the public as there was a wedding ceremony. They do tours for a little amount. If you want a nice tea and cake, there is a Cafe. In front of the Hall is the Albert Memorial (he is wearing .. as a sign for cloth and cotton). If you look carefully, you will notice a golden cotton ball on top of the building, which represents the Textile Industry. Next to the Town Hall you will find the Manchester Central Library, which can be considered as a duplicate of the Pantheon in Rome. I needed to charge my phone, as I am always using my map so I went in and looked around (I know I could have used a map, but it is just so much easier to follow the blue dot on your screen, even though it sometimes messes up with you.). There are nice couches to relax and read/study. They’ve got a coffee shop as well. You ought not miss the Wolfson Reading room and look at the window, you will find Shakespeare. If you didn’t notice the Shakespeare Hall when entering the Library, at least look up when going out. It is quite impressive.
After the much-needed little break, I went to the part of the city called Castlefield (Mancunium is the roman era fort – terminus of the Bridgewater Canal). I particularly like the conservation area, because of the great inventions: world’s first industrial canal was built in 1764. Also, the world’s first passenger railway terminated here in 1830 and a railway warehouse as well. Consequently, it is a Urban Heritage Park now. The Museum of Science and Industry was by far the most interesting one I’ve ever been. There were so many great inventions and on top of it has a “hands on” floor, where you could play around (I admit, I am still a child). Luckily, there was a live demonstration on how cotton is processed from its raw state to the finished products. You don’t believe me, the noise one machine makes is unbearable! Image the whole factory filled with machines! No wonder that people were deaf and injured. Image all the children working there, simply because they were small enough to work under the machines L. The climate was ideal for the cotton, since Manchester is very humid, thanks to the Pennines (it rains a lot!). And thanks to the river and canal system, they developed water engines. Textile Industry boomed and with the trains to Liverpool it was easy to transport Cotton from America (I think this fact is quite fascinating, bearing in mind without having the row material, Manchester raise as Cottonopolis). Even the first computer was built at Manchester named “Baby”. I guess you now understand my attraction for this city and its inventions and great minds.
I was knackered at the end of the day!
Bye for now from