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Day Eleven: Part One

January 30, 2007

Drew and I were up and out the door early to spend the day exploring Manchester. Our first stop was the Central Library, which I’d heard good things about. It’s one of the largest municipal libraries in Europe, and it has separate music, theatre and literature libraries. We made our way through each floor, and tried not to disturb all the studying students. I probably could have spent much more time there going through everything, but our time was limited as we had to get back to Sara and Mark’s by 6 p.m. to have dinner at Mark’s grandparent’s house.

From the library, we headed to an information center for maps. While there, Drew found a Manchester Music Map, which contained a detailed walk to various places made famous by such bands and artists such as Morrissey (of course), Oasis, The Happy Mondays, James, New Order, etc. Since we had other plans (and Drew was already being a good sport about going to Morrissey and doing other music-geek related things that yours truly just had to do while in the U.K.), we didn’t do the walk. I still have the map though.

Sigh.

I’m such a brat, aren’t I? But I digress…

From the information center, we made our way to the Manchester Museum, which is part of The University of Manchester:

We went specifically to see their wonderful collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. We didn’t see the rest of the museum due to our lack of time, but the exhibit was fascinating (especially the mummies) and it was nice to warm up for an hour. Back to the pavement once again, this time in search of lunch.

I think I’ve left out Drew’s insatiable demand for curry during our trip (the word “curry” being used quite generically, I know). You see, we love Indian food. Unfortunately good Indian food isn’t available on every corner here like it is in the U.K., so Drew decided that he would eat as much Indian food as possible during our journey. Looking back on the trip, I think we averaged eating curry at least three times a week. And being back home, we are now sad and going through extreme withdrawal, though we are going to try to make our own Indian concoction tomorrow for the first time. And again I am getting way off track…

Back to lunch. We stopped at Monsoons, which was a hole in the wall:

Super-cheap and delicious. We split a large chicken tikka kebab, with chips and cheese. I discovered that kebabs were completely different in the U.K. than they are here. Here, when I think kebab, I visualize either meat or meat and veggies on a skewer. Normal, right? Well, our kebabs consisted of shaved meat, that is served on flatbread with salad and sauce. Salad meaning lettuce, tomato and onion. Anyway, it was sooooo good. However, our best curry experience occurred in Edinburgh. I’ll get to Scotland one of these days, I swear.

After lunch, we went in search of where the legendary Hacienda once operated (see, I still ended making a music pilgrimmage of some sorts). We got a bit lost, but we finally found it. It closed in 1997, and has since been turned into an apartment complex, nothing terribly exciting, but I just had to go there(I bet you’re all feeling sorry for Drew now since we walked a few miles in the cold, just to see an apartment complex). From there, we made our way to the Cornerhouse, to check out their art gallery.

As it grew dark, there was one more music geek thing I wanted to do: go to the Salford Lad’s Club and get a photo in front of it, like the Smiths from their famous album cover:

We took the tram from St. Peter’s Square to Salford, but once there, we walked in the wrong direction. I was wearing the wrong shoes for the day, and at this point, I could feel the blisters forming on my feet. It was cold, and we were both getting cranky. We did walk along Salford Quays though, which was pretty alongside the canal. The pedestrian bridge was lovely, so we walked over it, before heading back to the catch the tram:

Back in the city, we hit up a pub called the Bull’s Head for a quick pint before heading back to Sara and Mark’s. A few other photos from the day:

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