In the beginning of November, I was lucky to go to Manchester with my colleagues. Our company held a party there, so we flew from Helsinki on Friday morning, and returned late on Saturday.
We spent the first day in the hotel, but we were free to roam on Saturday morning. With Antti, Martin and Nikkis, we set sail at 10, to enjoy the sunny morning. I didn’t expect that from England, but it was pleasant. While Helsinki was in the claws of a vicious cold spell that brought a lot of snow, we went back to autumn. How odd.
The alliance of old red brick buildings, heritage of the city’s industrial past, and recent glass-and-steel skyscrapers was stunning. The former reminded me of Tampere, an industrial city of Finland, appropriately nicknamed the “Manchester of Finland”. I noticed that, like in London, they have double-decker buses. I couldn’t help but wonder why those are popular in some places but absent in others…
In the south-west of the city center, canals and railway bridges intertwined, creating a maze on several levels that was a delight for the eye. This urban jungle was not densely crowded when we visited, making our walk particularly relaxing. And warm, also. It was not raining. England, was that really you? :p
The wind started to bite harder when we turned north towards the center, and the sun grew more timid.
In the main street, I observed a peculiar manipulation for lowering metallic tubes. These people waved at me when they noticed me taking pictures, and made me laugh, though some colleagues wondered about the safety of the process.
To the north, I discovered the austere Manchester Cathedral, with its black spikes pointing to the sky. Then I wandered the streets randomly, stopping there and then to take a picture or greet a few friends. A stop at the bookshop later, it was already time to head to the bus, and then back to winter.
BONUS: the mighty Antti, illuminated.