May 8, 2010

manchester III, around town

i think i took close to 500 pictures on this trip...all not necessarily any good, but they help me remember places. here are some moments...

traveller's best buddy, money belt...

view from out hotel window, i liked these river boats. the canals seemed to be all over manchester, it seems you could hire them for a memorably holiday

there was this huge stage-type area right in front of our hotel, i never found out what it is used for (shame on me)

close to our hotel was this monstruous building that made me dizzy, it is the hilton hotel

these buildings are part of the lowry at salford quays. the lowry seems to be kinda artsy place but these...sorry, not to my taste

inside at lowry outlet mall that we accidentally spotted from the restaurant at old trafford. good thing we "found" it, nice shopping at good prices

martha would be pround of my pose...

i visioned someone clipping this lawn with scissors, it looked perfectly manicured

metrolink was handy, and cheap, in getting around (once we figured that there was a station really close to our hotel...)

...namely the gmex station that was high up on a bridge

there were some ruins left from the roman days

more canals, and river boats

more canals

see what i mean about the modern architecture? that junky piece of glass has no business being so close to that beautiful old building

the taxis are not just black any more...

one thing we missed was a night out at a pub. this would have been right next to our hotel

this was on friday evening and people in (or should i say around) this pub were getting rather rowdy

huge, HUGE shopping mall, the arndale, UK's largest inner-city shopping center

one of the shop windows at arndale, there must have been close to 100 sewing machines, if not more, on display in this window. but then again, cotton and sewing would have been one of the things that started the industrial revolution way back when, manchester being one of the leading cities in that revolution

hmm...these were not quirkiest shoes i saw, but you'll get the idea. believe or not, there were women trying their best to move forward in this kind of footwear. very few did it with grace, i might add. but who am i to mock those that tried, 2 inch heels would make me trip over...

one more entry from this trip, the home journey...

May 7, 2010

manchester II, food

looking back at the pictures it might seem that we ate a lot...well, kinda but not really...could also be that i've chosen not to share all...

we stayed at the castlefield hotel, very nice staff, but breakfast then, hmm. although i admit i do enjoy this kind of breakfast once in a while, but 5 mornings in a row...they did have fruit salad as well, but that was the only "fresh" item on the breakfast buffet. don't get me wrong, this kind of breakfast carries you well into the afternoon, i just would have wished for some variety

i had made reservations for us at the sapporo teppanyaki for our first evening. i had seen on google maps that this restaurant was very close to our hotel. what an experience, or show rather...japanese beer and some sake

had i known how huge our main courses would be, i would have skipped these dumplings. on the other hand, they were very nice

these guys were quite handy with the utensils, check some the videos on the restaurant website

no, this isn't the restaurant on fire, it was all part of the show

besides this fried rice the main course included stir-fried veggies and potatoes

the boys had teriyaki chicken (lots of it), i had shrimp (yammy!). dinner took about 2 hrs and on hindsight we should have skipped all other meals on that day, i could hardly move after dinner. that was the reason for us to take a long walk (ok, i forced the guys to do it) before returning to the hotel

despite the of the feast the night before...had to try churros, freshly fried at a street stall

this here is called victoria sandwich, my brother had some with coffee one afternoon. i'm told it was tasty, might have to bake one to try. i remember the hairy bikers baking (well, trying to bake one) a victorian sandwich in one of their episodes (hilarious cooking show if you haven't seen it)

another dinner, this time at an italian restaurant called...(hmm, will have to add the name later, sorry). i know wine would have been more "italian" but i wasn't in the mood for wine...besides this is a decent beer, it is!

my starter, classic salad, always good

we also had "garlic bread", this was a great idea. very thin pizza crust brushed with olive oil with garlic on top

my seafood risotto, wonderfull, could have eaten loads more...

my nephew's pasta, which he gulfed in no time, must have been very nice

bro's pizza, i kinda liked the idea of shaving parmesan on the pizza right after it comes out the oven

we did have dessert, but we shared it. well, my nephew and i did, my bro is one of those dubious people who don't eat chocolate. the taste was quite rich and eventhough the portion was rather small, this was plenty even shared

fastforward to another day...this kind of fare was on offer everywhere. i was on holiday so i wasn't going to get picky about the kind of food i ate, but it would have been nice if there'd been something "healthier" to choose from. no wonder jamie oliver preaches about healthier food

oops, yes, well, these are not healthy, but i didn't eat any. honest, ask the boys!

this massive hamburger would be the legendary 10 oz. burger at the hard rock cafe. thankfully, we didn't get appetizers, this burger was huge, none of us could finish theirs. although 3 kids at the next table had no problems, and they had dessert as well (and lots of beer...)

i have no idea how this got into our hotel room (i only had a small bite and i'm sticking to my story)

nephew's afternoon fix

this was my last dinner (how ominous) at the hotel. baked potato (with tuna) is always nice, this was ok as well, after i ditched some of the ridiculous amount of cheese on top

one more entry to come on machester, then one of the way home. after we finally got on our way...

manchester I

this trip to manchester, england, was a gift to my nephew and the original purpose was to go and see a manchester united home game. those who know me were surprised to know the purpose of the trip. yes, i know nothing of football (and for you americans, we're talking about soccer here...not that i would know much more of the sport you call football, either) and how well this proofed itself, before and during the trip. well, i knew who pele was and i think there is a ronaldo (?) but that's about it. boy, was i in for a loads of new stuff...

oh, a warning at this point is in order. if football isn't your thing, now might a good time to move on...

let me walk you thru this, there is so much information bubbling in my head, i try not to bore you with too many details. this here is the east stand of old trafford, home arena of manchester united. it is huge, 76.000 seats in there (how do they all get there, must be hell for the traffic cops)

ManU is probably the most merchandised sporting club in the world. so, naturally, they would have a huge shop to sell everything with the club's name on it...

...and i mean everything! bibs and soothers for babies...

...and starter knives and forks for toddlers. and it didn't stop there, they had straightening irons (not kidding) in club colors, bikinis and what not. i only bought some candy as souvenirs

after we browsed the store, we decided to take the tour and visit the museum as well. i'm not a huge museum person, nor is my brother (oops, i forgot to tell that my brother was there as well...) anyways, when you paid for the tour you got to go to the museum as well, so it was a no brainer.

this gentleman in the middle did tell us his name but i only remember the fact that he had worked for ManU for almost 40 yrs and that he had, in fact, retired last autumn but had been called in to fill in for someone.

oh, and we're in the players changing room

there was this jersey with number 10 and the name rooney on it, every little kid wanted to have their picture taken in front of it...

this is it. did you know that in the winter they have lamps to make sure the grass gets enough light so that it grows? yep, they do. and that they mown the lawn every other day, also in the winter. amazing what one remembers...

the corridors and passages under and around the stands were amazingly neat and tidy. not sure i wanted to work as the person who empties these

this is the alley the players use when entering the pitch. they played a tape of what it sounds like when a game is about to start, impressive

football certainly is no minor matter over there

lots of families taking the tour, from all over the world. these would the seats where managers sit during a game

this kid cracked me up. he stopped all over the place and posed, every time, like this...who does he think he will be when he grows up, i wonder

now my memory fails me, but everyone was taking pictures of these so i took one as well. they might be cup trophies, or something

not sure what the proper term for football shoes is, but here is a pair from circa 1957. they don't look all that comfortable...

this was day one of our 4 day trip, or that's what we tought at the time...more to come.