We missed the first snow of the season this weekend, instead dodging sleet and hail on our first visit to Manchester.
We stayed with an old colleague of mine in the lovely village in a suburb of Chorley. We packed a fair bit in on Saturday, with a visit to the new architecture at Salford Docks as well as the highlights of the city centre, including the beautiful John Ryland library – a great secular temple.
The new stuff was generally pretty bland (though better than anything Scottish) as my preparatory reading of the relevant chapter of The New Ruins of Great Britain had made out.
On Sunday after an adventurous evening that ended up in an eclectic Cuban cafe we pottered around the lovely Whitworth Museum, whose luminous red brick was quite striking against the grey.
Monday we spent exploring the fantastic Northern Quarter in more detail, with great warehouses and fire escapes, along narrow streets combined with the requisite cafes and vintage shops creating our natural habitat 😉
Another historic post, for our Christmas – NW break last year – we tested Oswald to the maximum with a trip around the north west of Scotland (some of the most remote regions in Europe) in what turned out to be the coldest winter in 30 years.
He coped admirably – we only got stuck once although the deep snow did mean we stuck to main routes and didn’t get to explore off the beaten path much – mind you ‘main’ is probably a bit of a euphemism some of the single track roads were pretty hairy!.
Our flickr set tells the story in all the blinding white glory.
[flickr album=72157623037906591 num=30 size=Thumbnail]
We went to Copenhagen (almost a year ago) for a quick weekend visit to Howe before he left back to Vietnam – was a great weekend including lunch at Noma (above) for some ‘food as art’ foamy goodness – the second best restaurant in the world apparently!
Mum & Dad came to visit through September. After a couple of weeks with my aunt & uncle in Lyon we met them in Paris, where gorgeous weather let us explore all the highlights, Eiffel Tower, Louvre (outside at least) Notre Dame, Monmartre and the Sacre Coure.
Catching the eurostar we moved on to London for a couple of days where some decidedly British weather kept us a little housebound (luckily we were staying in a spacious modernist gem of an apartment in Bloomsbury so all was not lost).
M&D provided an excuse to do all the tourist things we would never dream of in our usual east-end hipster type jaunts to the capital. Dad and Tim went up the London eye, we saw the crown jewels at the Tower of London and said g’day to Liz at Buckingham Palace. We also managed to catch up with Touch and meet Annalise her new super-cute baby and have a birthday dinner for me to catch up with all the Glasgow expatriates of the credit crunch!
Having squeezed all of that in we were suitably exhausted by the time we collapsed onto the East Coast mainline for the scenic ride back to Glasgow.