From Man to Blackpool

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August 3rd 2017
Published: August 4th 2017
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Still a bit sniffly but my friend drove me to Peel in the morning for my last few hours on the rock. I'd been there before on my last visit about ten years ago but remembered very little. Wandered around this little coastal town with its sandy beach and multitude of cafes and charity shops. It has some cute alleys and houses in the local style, and the three-legged emblem of Man is ever-present. Had a quick look at the free exhibition in the House of Manannan museum on holidaying in the Isle of Man. It used to be a popular destination from the Victorian era until its decline in popularity in the fifties and sixties with the advent of package holidays to the sun. I think with the right marketing efforts it could become popular again, maybe for people like myself who want to limit their flights. Wound up at Davison's, a cafe on the seafront, for lunch and vegan ice-cream. Then it was time for my friend to pick me up and take me to the boat bound for Liverpool.

The crossing was less choppy than the outward journey and we arrived on schedule. Made my way towards the station, stopping for dinner at Fattoush, a Lebanese restaurant near the university. Delicious food but they might want to make sure their serving staff can actually understand English, which seems like a reasonable requirement. The trip to Blackpool was exciting for me as I'd never travelled through that particular part of England before. I noted the vast sprawl of terraced housing at Wigan and the sheep flanking the railway track as we travelled from Preston. And how relatively flat it was.

On arrival in Blackpool, the first person I encountered was a punk making his way to the station, and indeed the town was full of punks wherever you looked, along with the flashing lights of the Tower and entertainment venues. My first time here too. After wandering past the festival venue at the Winter Gardens and approving of the noises coming from it, I tried to find my hotel and eventually located it on Hull Road. Rang the bell for service but nobody answered so I went into the TV/breakfast room to ask a guy there if he knew where the staff were. Turned out he was the staff, and he checked me in. Possibly the most laid-back hotelier I've ever met.

Tomorrow is the day I will - hopefully - be going to the Rebellion punk festival, if my booking went through correctly. I've emailed them but not received a reply. Fingers crossed!

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