Monday 24 March 2008
Our flight landed in Manchester early in the morning and we immediately hopped a train to the city centre. We weren’t actually in Manchester to see Manchester, though. We just needed a cheap airport in Northern England to land in. When we arrived in the city centre our total sightseeing of the city consisted of the metro from Piccadilly to Victoria station. At Victoria we then caught another train which took us to the rural town of Sowerby Bridge to visit our travel buddies from Vietnam and Thailand, Phil and Kim.
Immediately upon arrival at their house (photo), Phil started getting into snow-related mischief (photo).
The weather had cleared a little so we decided to go out for a walk in the beautiful countryside (photos) and stop at a pub for lunch - and a pint of course. However, due to the recent and continuing intermittent snowfalls, the temptation for mischief could not be avoided (photo). The snowballs got bigger and bigger. We left a visible trail of destruction everywhere we went. The old fashioned dry stone walls showed their strength in withstanding our icy ammunition (photo). Although, we weren’t COMPLETELY absorbed in our
snowball fights. We did notice some strange street signs around the village (photo).
After over an hour playing in the snow and working up an appetite we arrived at the Alma Inn (photo). It was rush hour so there were THREE cars in the parking lot! We shook off our snow-covered boots, jackets, gloves, hats, etc and warmed ourselves in front of the fireplace amongst the lovely woollen blankets (photo). Warm beer, monster sized club sandwiches, roast beef and fresh haddock & chips warmed our bellies and fuelled us for the return journey (photo). On the way back to the house we watched the adorable newborn lambs of the season stumbling around the paddocks between snowball battles (photo).
That afternoon we all caught the bus into Halifax which is the nearest large town. Halifax is quite a beautiful old town (photo). We saw a fair bit of the old town centre while we were looking for a pub. We saw some interesting shops (photo), the church (photo), and some pubs (photo).... and then we finally settled upon Wetherspoons. We drank loads of Champagne to celebrate Phil & Kim’s engagement (photo) -
Then we stumbled across to Meena’s
Indian Restaurant for a superb dinner (photo).
Later that night Michael, Phil and Kim stayed up late and sampled the Potcheen that we had brought across from Ireland (photo). It was very potent! Barbara was already wasted from all the Champagne and crashed as soon as she returned. Tuesday 25 March 2008
Not-so-early in the morning we woke to a delicious breakfast prepared by Chez Kim. Phil then rushed off to a job interview while we caught the bus into Halifax. On the way Kim showed us the church they planned to get married in (photo).
Once in town, we went to explore the Piece Hall which was where the textile markets used to be held (photos). We found a delicious sweet shop selling traditional English candies and fudge (photo) and a shop that appeared to be selling dodgy rocks (photo)!!
After successfully taking Michael shopping for a new pair of jeans, we met up with Phil and headed down to the canals where there were traditional English canal boats for us to see (photo) and a pub with beer to drink (photos).
Having consumed our weekly supply of alcohol in the last day
and a half, we decided we would like some exercise. We didn’t realise until later exactly what we were in for when we accepted Kim’s offer of ‘an afternoon walk’. We ended up hiking for a couple of hours up the tallest mountain in the district, through the rain, snow and mud to visit the Stoodley Pike (photos). It was quite a hike and Barbara was a bit sceptical at first but we actually had a fantastic time and the view from the top was stunning.
Back in the warmth of the farmhouse Phil and Kim cooked us a special dinner for our last night. Phil cooked his special roast chicken and Yorkshire puddings and Kim cooked yummy vegies including scrumptious parmesan parsnips. Michael contributed his special chocolate pudding for dessert. We also enjoyed some more Potcheen afterwards - even Barbara this time! (photos) Wednesday 26 March 2008
It had been so nice to catch up with Phil & Kim again and it was sad to bid farewell so soon as we were having so much fun with them.
But alas it had to be. So in the morning they took us to the railway station where
we said our goodbyes and caught a train to Leeds.
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