A football weekend and little else to see in the city with the famous “Theatre of Dreams”
According to a tourist guide “Manchester, in England’s North Country, is one of Britain’s coolest cities. This once industrial city has reinvented itself as a truly contemporary metropolis, with modern landmark buildings such as the Lowry Centre, a thriving art and culture scene, and world-class sport – its home to the world famous Manchester United Football Club.”
It may be true that Manchester is a cool city, but it sure missed me. Coming here for a football weekend with my son in April the concept of cool more had a climatic connotation to us. Furthermore I would not imagine the tourist information to incorporate the Chinatown in the centre of Manchester in its definition of cool, but perhaps more likely the Gay Village around Canal Street. We walked through both.
To us the centre of Manchester seemed to be little more than the Arndale Shopping Centre and the streets around it. There are however instances of old architecture, like the cathedral below, and interesting new ones. (See link to my picture album at the bottom.) Much of this is of course due to heavy bombing during WW2, a long period of post-war recession and the IRA bomb in 1996.
Canal street and Lowry River
I do admit that the Lowry Centre looks promising, not least because of the attempt to revive the old river banks. We did not in fact visit it, but the picture below was instead taken from another building in the area. We found the exhibitions of that building across the river, the Imperial War Museum, quite interesting. I will have to check out the cultural scene next time I stay here.
Lowry Centre and River
Our reason for coming here in the first place was however football. The quoted tourist information mentions only Manchester United but certainly there’s “the other” club as well – Manchester City. We did on the other hand visit Old Trafford this time. It was our second visit to the Theatre of Dreams but the first for watching a game. (We returned two years later). United beat Arsenal 2-1 by the way.
Old Trafford Stadium
All images from Manchester: