Everyone slept in, and I had another nice yogurt/toast/cereal breakfast. Today would be the day Anna and I would explore Manchester proper.
We drove a few minutes to the train station and hopped on. 20 minutes later we were in town! In an attempt to find a great view of the city, we tried to go on the top of the Hilton Hotel but only got as far as their 23rd floor bar which was closed. Next we checked out the city hall, a beautiful old building with detailed stone carvings and a number of stone sculptures inside.
Next stop was the Manchester Library. We attempted to find a spot with a view in the library to no avail, but the building itself was nice, very modern, and very well utilized by the community – exactly what a library should be.
After a bit more meandering through a great Sunday market, we ended up in the North Quarter – Manchester’s artsy/hipster cool part of town. The street art in the area was great. We stopped for a proper Sunday afternoon English tea at one of Anna’s favorite spots. I had tea and a huge scone with “cottled cream” (or something like that) and jam. Anna had rose tea with freshly baked madeleines – warm vanilla sweet bread cakes. By the time we finished it was ~3:00 and we were stuffed.
An hour later we were back at Anna and Simon’s picking up Simon on the way to another English pub a few blocks away. This is apparently also a common English tradition – a big buffet of carvings (ham, turkey, or beef). My tea and scones had settled and I was hungry again which was great.
We walked home, relaxed for about 20 minutes, then drove to another Natural Trust Site – the Dunham Massey Park – which is known for its deer. Naturally we ran into tons of deer before it started to downpour on us. We made our way back to the car, and finally back to their place.
We watched This Is England, a cool movie about a kid growing up in England in the early 1980’s and being sucked into a skinhead group. Good movie.
Anna and Simon went to bed early, I stayed up making plans for Portugal and making sure I was great to go. Off to Lisbon tomorrow morning!