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October 20th 2015
Published: November 5th 2015
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The compulsory phone booth photoThe compulsory phone booth photoThe compulsory phone booth photo

We know that we are a bit strange sometimes but we love the British phone booths. We have to take a photo of at least one for each blog entry we publish from UK

Manchester is more than United and City





Earlier this year we came across some really cheap flight tickets to Manchester. We hardly knew anything about Manchester but we decided to buy the tickets anyway. Sometimes when we travel we have a clear plan and purpose. At other times we take chances and just go without making any plans at all. This trip to Manchester was one of the latter kind. We didn't even know what we wanted to see when we stepped on board the flight which took us there.



Well, we did of course know about the city's two major football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City, so we weren't completely unaware of what the city had to offer. But football is not something we are interested in so we preferred to look elsewhere to educate ourselves on what Manchester has to offer.



Manchester was one of the more important cities during the early industrialisation of United Kingdom. So as you understand it is a city with a lot of history. In such cities we don't need any tourist sites to keep us happy (and we certainly don't have to watch
Tunnel visionTunnel visionTunnel vision

Another kind of photo we like is this, photo in a tunnel. This is a portico we found between the Central Library and the Town Hall
a bunch of men in shorts chasing a ball to make the time pass). In such cities we are quite happy to just wander around and explore and that is mainly what we did.



Manchester once had a lot of industries and industries require good transport. In the late 18th and early 19th century going from one place to another in England using roads was very time consuming and bringing large quantities of goods with you on the way was out of the question. The road network simple wasn't designed for that. Instead they used canals and trains for transport. Manchester was connected to several other cities through canals and they had one of the earliest railway lines in all of UK. That railway line went between Liverpool and Manchester. One of the stations in Manchester, Manchester Liverpool Road railway station, still exists and is the oldest preserved railway station in the world. The station is today incorporated in the Museum of Science and Industry.



Many (all?) of the old canals still exist and they are nowadays popular for recreational boating. Originally the boats on the canals were pulled by horses so there had to be a path alongside the canal. Those
The Central LibraryThe Central LibraryThe Central Library

The reading room was absolutely lovely. We have tried to take photos of it but they just don't make it justice. See also the panorama
paths are often still there and can be good hiking trails or makes for good walks. We wouldn't recommend anyone to walk them at night though because some sections of those paths felt a bit dodgy.



One part of central Manchester, Canal Street and around, is notably gay friendly. We found some murals with gay friendly messages in that neighbourhood and a café we visited had a sign saying that it is a gay owned and gay friendly establishment and they asked the guests to respect that.



We just have to mention the central library. The reading room was absolutely lovely. We have tried to take photos of it but they just don't make it justice.



When we were in Manchester we had an afternoon tea. Ake wasn't very fond of it but Emma liked it. But Emma is more of a tea drinker than Ake so that perhaps was to be expected.



We may have different opinions about afternoon tea but we sure don't disagree when it comes to football. We both think it is a very dull sport. But still we visited Old Trafford, the stadium
The Central Library The Central Library The Central Library

Again trying to capture the beauty of the reading room in a photo
which is the home of the football team Manchester United. We went there when we were jogging in the morning.



We actually like UK so much that we only a few days after we returned home from this trip decided to buy flight tickets for a weekend in London later this year.


Additional photos below
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Gay villageGay village
Gay village

One part of central Manchester, Canal Street and around, is notably gay friendly
Gay villageGay village
Gay village

We found some murals with gay friendly messages in that neighbourhood and a café we visited had a sign saying that it is a gay owned and gay friendly establishment and they asked the guests to respect that.
Town HallTown Hall
Town Hall

The Town Hall
Worker bee Worker bee
Worker bee

The worker bee is a symbol of Manchester
Afternoon teaAfternoon tea
Afternoon tea

When we were in Manchester we had an afternoon tea. It was nice to have tried it, it is after all something very British, but we have to say that we won't try it again. It just wasn't anything for us.
LockLock
Lock

Manchester once had a lot of industries and industries require good transport. In the late 18th and early 19th century canals were used for transport.
Path next to the canalPath next to the canal
Path next to the canal

Originally the boats on the canals were pulled by horses so there had to be a path alongside the canal. Those paths are often still there and can be good hiking trails or makes for good walks. We wouldn't recommend anyone to walk them at night though because some sections of those paths felt a bit dodgy.
Rail bridgeRail bridge
Rail bridge

Rail bridge over one of Manchester's many canals
Recreational boatsRecreational boats
Recreational boats

Many (all?) of the old canals still exist and they are nowadays popular for recreational boating.
Manchester Liverpool Road railway stationManchester Liverpool Road railway station
Manchester Liverpool Road railway station

One of the stations in Manchester, Manchester Liverpool Road railway station, still exists and is the oldest preserved railway station in the world.
Manchester Liverpool Road railway stationManchester Liverpool Road railway station
Manchester Liverpool Road railway station

The station is today incorporated in the Museum of Science and Industry.
Spinning machineSpinning machine
Spinning machine

A spinning machine at Museum of Science and Industry. The cotton industry was so important for Manchester that the city has been nicknamed Cottonopolis
James Prescott JouleJames Prescott Joule
James Prescott Joule

Statue of James Prescott Joule, physicist. The SI unit for energy is named after him
Sir Alex Ferguson WaySir Alex Ferguson Way
Sir Alex Ferguson Way

Sir Alex Ferguson was the manager of Manchester United from 1986 to 2013
Old TraffordOld Trafford
Old Trafford

We went for a run and ran past Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. Even though we aren't interested in football, we felt that we had to see the stadium at least
China TownChina Town
China Town

Gate to China Town
Are they paying homage to The Who?Are they paying homage to The Who?
Are they paying homage to The Who?

"Every day I get in the queue (Too much, Magic Bus) To get on the bus that takes me to you (Too much, Magic Bus)" /"Magic Bus" The Who


5th November 2015
Street art

Excellent!!
5th November 2015
Town Hall

Awesome town hall!
7th November 2015
Town Hall

It was better IRL
I am not happy with the photo of it. The square in front was small and narrow and I couldn't find any good angle of it. It looks cool but it was even better to see it with my own eyes./Ake
7th November 2015
Tunnel vision

Tunnel Vision
Very artistic
7th November 2015
Tunnel vision

One of my favourite photos
I love to take the tunnel photos. I have a dream of one day collect them all in a book and publish them./Ake
8th November 2015
Tunnel vision

Tunnels, industry and tea
Ake, you really are an historian of all things industrial--the Norwegian power plants and now the transport systems here. I've always loved science museums, but thanks to your blogs, I'll also check out industry too. I adore and so share your wonderful description of football (men in shorts chasing a ball)! I also love your tunnel vision photos and hope you do publish a book of these symmetries! However, I'm with Emma on that gorgeous afternoon tea!
9th November 2015
Tunnel vision

Thank you Tara
There is one "industry" I very much would like to visit here in Stockholm - an abandoned nuclear reactor designed to produce plutonium for nuclear bombs. Yes, Sweden had its own "Manhattan Project" for a while. That would be interesting to visit. /Ake

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