Farewell Manchester

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September 27th 2011
Published: September 29th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

Our last day in Manchester before flying out later in the evening ended on a note of drinking and gluttony. Doesn’t that sound awful. For those who really know us that sort of behaviour doesn’t really happen but we did have fun.
Manchester was going through a late summer flush with dry warm weather, a great farewell gift. With such great conditions we were able to continue our wanderings in the very tourist friendly city. Our local tour guide had gone to a lot of trouble to create a list of “must see” places while we have been in this great city and it was a just the right day to visit two of them. One of our tour group is a Coronation Street viewer so what a better place to visit on a very warm Manchester lunchtime than “Vera Duckworth’s” pub. We could have been in the Rovers Return as we ordered an ‘alf and two cokes. The walls are covered with framed photos and front pages from magazines featuring “Vera” and other “Street” characters. We understand the actress who plays Vera sometimes makes an appearance in her own pub, The Old Grapes, as do other Coronation Street actors, but not today.
As it was lunch time we had one final but serious visit to make. We were headed for a well known patisserie for some lunch time treats. Oh boy! How hard it was to decide what wicked treat we should choose, but eventually we left with our chosen treats in specially designed little boxes. Nearby was a small green area for an inner city picnic of sandwiches and cream cakes. What gluttony but how delicious. And what better way to remember Manchester than with stomachs full of such wicked treats.
As we walked back towards the railway station to collect our bags and board the train for Manchester Airport it was obvious the city was building up for a big football match. People were selling souvenir scarves, supporters of both teams were everywhere and the bookies were offering £110 for a £10 bet on Manchester beating Basel 3-1. It turned out the bookies were offering a very safe bet. At one point we had time to relax and reflect in a large open space where young children were enjoying the water in a fountain, office workers were relaxing with coffees and food, and football supporters were gathering. The sound of a busker’s drum was soon drowned out by some chanting. Hovering police started to take notice of something about to happen. Around a corner came a group of about 100 football fans chanting and heading for this open space. Our tour director had a bad feeling so it was time to move out. The police had a feeling and it was time to move in. We haven’t heard of any serious clash so all must have ended peacefully.
It was a simple airport experience. We checked in and were quite surprised to find our bags that have been with us for 6 months weighed less than when we left New Zealand. Perhaps some space for serious shopping in Hong Kong. It was a sad moment saying good bye to our daughter who had shown us the city she now calls home. We have had a great time together during the past three days and really appreciated the company. Our daughter is staying on in the UK for another year so it will be our turn to hear of her adventures. She has flights booked for Greece and Belgium as well as plans for further trips.
With farewells over it was through security and final preparations before boarding our plane on the first leg to Hong Kong.

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